Here’s a simple and tasty pasta salad with broccoli and cherry tomatoes that can be enjoyed year round. Feel free to substitute another short, chunky pasta shape, though the tricolor rotini give this dish extra eye appeal.
You can also substitute or add other vegetables. Green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths, or finely chopped cauliflower (add either or both at the last minute to the simmering pasta) both work well. A small quantity of fresh or frozen corn kernels are a nice addition, too.
Leftovers for lunch: This pasta salad is great for packing into small containers for a change-of-pace lunch for school or work, or to simply serve at home. After the pasta salad stand, you may want to moisten with a little additional vinaigrette).
- 8 ounces rotini or other pasta twists (tri-color rotini adds a nice touch)
- 3 cups finely chopped broccoli florets
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion (or substitute scallion)
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved or sliced
- 1/2 cup bottled or homemade vinaigrette dressing, or as needed (see link in Notes)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Just before it turns al dente, add the broccoli to the simmering water and cook for another minute or two, just until the broccoli turns bright green.
- Drain the pasta and broccoli mixture and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain well again.
- Combine the pasta and broccoli in a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir well. Serve at once.
Add or substitute other vegetables: Green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths or finely chopped cauliflower (added at the last minute to the cooking pasta along with or instead of the broccoli) both work well. A small quantity of fresh or frozen corn kernels are a nice addition, too.
Here's a recipe for homemade vinaigrette dressing.
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Photos at top: Tbralnina / Bigstock