Pasta Salad Recipe

Written by CMP on June 04, 2008
Pasta salad

For some bizarre reason, I only make pasta salads in the summer. Yes, yes, I know, it's not summer yet. But it's close enough. My working theory on a good pasta salad recipe relies heavily on the number and balance of non-pasta ingredients. Too few and you're not fooling anybody, too many and you just have chaos. And who wants pasta chaos in their life? Not me, that's for sure.


  • 1 Pound Penne Pasta
  • 2 Cups Smoked Mozzarella, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Italian Dried Sausage, cut into half circles
  • 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, halved.
  • 1/2 Medium Red Onion, cut into thin slivers
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Bunch Arugula, cut into rough chop.
  • 6-7 Fresh Basil Leaves, minced
  • 3/4 + 2 Tbs Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Cook pasta in salted water till Al Dente. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Add two Tbs of Olive oil and mix well (so the pasta does stick together while you're chopping and dicing the remaining ingredients).

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, cheese, sausage, tomatoes,  onion, bell pepper, and arugula. Mix well. In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the pasta and mix well again.

Serve immediately or refrigerate.

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