I am currently sitting in my parents’ backyard, an oasis in the heart of Northern California, it is my happy place. Around 2001, his backyard was a dark, overgrown version of what it is today. Towering redwoods and oaks still stand, but everything else was planted by hand. For the past 20 years, my father has cultivated a lush sanctuary, an ode to patience, perseverance, and loving care. I’m always inspired by this outdoor space. The breeze drifts gently through the English laurels and the sunlight reflects off the sandstone walkway. Everything is intentionally curated, a celebration of the beauty of the California coastline. My favorite corner, of course, is my mother’s garden. Every time I return, it is a true homecoming: what grew while I was gone, was planted when I left. This is what inspired my summer pasta salad recipe!
This time of year, basil, chives, and arugula are all thriving. Along with some staples from the pantry and produce from the farmers market, this recipe became. It’s hearty and flavorful, the kind of pasta salad you’ll always want to have on hand. It’s easy to highlight seasonal ingredientsand it tastes deliciously healthy. Double the recipe and feed a huge crowd. Add this vegetarian summer pasta recipe to your barbecue sides repertoire – is better together with grilled chicken or veggie burgers. Perfect for your next Dinner party.
When I dreamed of this recipe, the grill came to mind. Charred vegetables, after all, taste so good. Natural sugars caramelize, providing an unbeatable flavor. Those grill marks add a depth of flavor unlike anything else – they tie the entire dish together. If you love a seared marshmallow (hi yo) or the crunchy edge of the brownie skillet (also, me), this pasta salad recipe is for you.
We all know that eating the rainbow It is essential, but healthy does not have to be synonymous with tasteless. A quick saute, roasting or broiling can level any vegetable. To cover my bases, this pasta salad includes a variety of colors. Green (edamame, herbs and zucchini), purple (shallots, olives and aubergines) and red (cherry tomatoes and red chili flakes). When in doubt, remember this: the more vibrant the products, the richer in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. When you cook with fresh produce, you can’t go wrong.
With High fiber veggies, I added fresh mozzarella pearls for a delicate creaminess. They also add a bit of protein. Speaking of protein, I also included edamame. One cup of edamame has about 17 grams of protein! This pasta salad has it all: complex carbohydrates (vegetables and whole wheat pasta), healthy fats (olives, extra virgin olive oil and mozzarella), protein (whole wheat pasta, mozzarella and edamame) and fiber (vegetables, herbs and whole wheat pasta).
Without substitutions, this recipe is vegetarian. That said, you can easily make it vegan by omitting the mozzarella. And if you don’t eat soy, you don’t need edamame. To make this gluten-free summer pasta recipe, swap whole wheat pasta for an alternative flour, like chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, or brown rice pasta (these are some of our favorite dishes gluten-free alternatives). But of course nothing compares to fresh pasta. In any case, don’t forget to add salt to the pasta water. Here is a useful salting ratio: 1: 1: 4-1 pound of pasta, 1 tablespoon of salt, 4 liters of water.
Get creative with this recipe as it is highly customizable. Depending on the vegetables and herbs you have on hand, you can add charred asparagus, bell pepper, and minced mint to the mix. This type of pasta salad is best served at room temperature and comes together in no time. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on black pepper. Pasta and a glass of rosé? The perfect couple.