Summer Produce Pasta Salad

When it’s too hot outside to even think about cooking, a dinner that is light and easy is the perfect solution. This Summer Produce Pasta Salad takes full advantage of the bounty of fresh vegetables in season at your local markets right now!

summerproducepasta

Fresh corn, asparagus, colorful bell peppers, green onion, and heirloom tomatoes are mixed together with basil, mint, parsley, cilantro and arugula to create an elegant and unique flavor combination. I guarantee, it will keep you coming back for more!

Mini farfalle pasta along with a light dressing of garlic and cumin makes this a simple, yet filling, summer meal. To make it even more simple, cook the pasta and chop all the vegetables the night before. Then, when you get home from work, or a long day at the beach, simply tear up the herbs, toss everything together and dinner is served!

summer produce pasta

The inspiration for this dish came from one of my very first cooking classes. I think the class was at Williams-Sonoma, but I don’t remember. I do recall, at first glance, this particular recipe didn’t sound appealing. There are a LOT of herbs in it! I couldn’t understand how that many herbs would taste good together. Then, I tried it. I was won over in a single bite. The mint is the secret. It gives a bright note to the more earthy tang from the rest of the herbs. It’s very refreshing. I came home from that class and created this recipe the next day. Now, after two years, it is still my youngest son’s favorite way to have pasta salad! He asks for it quite often during the summer and I am happy to oblige.

Summer Herb and Veggie Pasta Salad

Ingredients

16 oz Mini Farfalle Pasta

1 TBLS salt

6 TBLS extra-virgin olive oil, divided.

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 TBLS thyme leaves

1 bunch thin asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 small orange bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/4 cup fresh corn (1 cob, shucked)

1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

3/4cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs, roughly chopped

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, torn

3/4 cup fresh arugula, stems removed and roughly chopped

lemon wedges

Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk together 5 TBLS of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and thyme.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place in the refrigerator until ready the salad is ready to assemble.

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water and 1 TBLS kosher salt to a boil.

Add the mini Farfalle and cook until al dente, about 6 – 8 minutes.

In the last minute of cooking, add the asparagus to the water with the pasta

Drain the pasta and asparagus, then toss immediately with 1 TBLS olive oil.

Cool pasta completely in refrigerator, overnight, if possible.

In a large bowl, mix bell peppers and corn

Add cooled farfalle and asparagus to the bowl and toss to combine

Add chopped herbs and arugula.

Toss with prepared dressing from refrigerator

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately!

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