Just less than 24 hours ago, we came back home from a two-week long vacation in Taiwan to visit my family. We had so much fun doing touristy things, taking little vacations during our vacation, eating everything in sight, visiting extended family, and spending time with my parents and my sister that I haven’t seen in years.
We were sad to leave, but we were also excited to hurry home and see my favorite boy. We sure missed him! But thank goodness for good friends who were willing to watch him and give him the love and attention he needed while we were gone.
We avoided the super hot and humid tropical weather this time around, but everyday was still a warm 80+ degrees with occasional rain storms and more than enough humidity.
Some days when it was sunny and hot, all I craved for was some summery light pasta salad. Like this one, which happens to use lots of bright summer vegetables and dressed with a light Italian vinaigrette. It can be eaten as a light meal, a snack, or as a side dish; it can be eaten cold or at room temperature – it’s so perfect for summer!
Are you ready for a confession? I can’t remember if I’ve ever made pasta salad before.
Yep, you heard me right. I’ve made potato salad and creamy broccoli/cauliflower salad before, but never have I made pasta salad from scratch, let alone one with a homemade dressing.
As far as I remember, the only kind of pasta salad I’ve ever made were from boxes that come with a packet of seasoning mix… I should totally be ashamed of myself.
So to redeem myself from being judged, today’s simple pasta salad only requires a few ingredients; you probably already have most of the ingredients for the dressing sitting in your cupboard right now!
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste (optional)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 cups uncooked pasta (I used small bowtie pasta)
- 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
- 2/3 cup diced red onions
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- In a medium bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Add in the pasta for the amount of time as directed on the box, minus one minute. Stir occasionally. Add in the asparagus in with the pasta and cook for an additional minute. Drain and rinse pasta and asparagus under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- In a large bowl, combine the red onions, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese, then add in the pasta and asparagus. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine. Pasta salad can be served cold or at room temperature.
- Serves 6-8
© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.