How To Make Pasta Salad

While technically, this is “how to make pasta salad”, pasta salad is the perfect thing to try “winging it” on in the kitchen.

Like almost all salads, you can throw anything in there and it’ll be good. This is YOUR MOMENT. YOUR CHANCE to experiment. Be like Dr. Frankenstein but without all the lightning and stitches and stuff. Hell, maybe you’ll create a masterpiece of pasta salad and the family will sing your praises on high as they scarf it down, face in a wilted paper plate, shoveling it in with a spork, chugging from a plastic pitcher of Country Time lemonade. Wait. Spork? Not for my opus! Best to scoop this pasta salad from an abalone shell, delicately, with a gilded fork and follow that with a rain-water spritzer.

Just kidding. Ain’t no snobbery in pasta salad. It’s food for everybody.

So consider this pasta salad recipe just a starting point. Like a diving board into a sea of possiblities. Sorry, I should say “pastabilities”. Ooh. Sorry again.


Pasta Salad

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Basic vinaigrette pasta salad

  • Yield: 4 1x


  • Salad:
  • 9 ounces dried, smallish pasta (tortellini, bow-tie, rotini, whatever you have) – cooked according to package and rinsed lightly with cool water
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (about half a large pepper)
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 48 green onions, roasted if possible, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • Optional ingredients: canned chick peas, spinach or arugula, grated parmesan, artichoke hearts, olives
  • Dressing:
  • 1 ounce red wine vinegar
  • 2 ounces olive oil (or whatever you have)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano and crushed red pepper, each


  1. Put dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.
  2. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Combine the salad with the dressing and mix gently. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours for best taste.

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  1. Diane on July 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Fab idea for raw zuchinni AND for the green onions!

    • Hilah Cooking on July 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks! I love those tricks, too. Thanks to my friends Brydie and Autumn for those two gems!

  2. hampton on July 23, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    this is really good especially while gliding down the tourmaline waters of barton creek, and something you can eat out of plastic wear while on your inner tube.

    • Hilah Cooking on July 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      Sounds nice!

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