Summer Garden Pasta Salad

Just add some crusty bread and a glass of albariño for a lovely al fresco meal

Photo: Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images

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This elegant pasta salad stars ultra-fresh, just-picked vegetables. If possible, select the vegetables from a farmers’ market or farm stand. A crusty French bread and glass of wine are all you need for an al fresco meal.



  • 2 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 9 oz. rotini
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. sugar, or to taste
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes (3/4 lb.), cut into eighths
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz. fresh basil, julienned
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbs. capers, drained


Fill large saucepan with water and 2 tablespoons olive oil, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta for about 3 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water briefly and set aside.

Combine remaining olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, sugar, and salt and pepper in large bowl, beating well. Add pasta while still warm to oil mixture, and toss to combine well. Set aside.

Place tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, scallions, basil, parsley, gorgonzola and capers in salad bowl, and toss. Add to dressed pasta, and toss again before serving, making sure vegetables are well distributed.

Wine Suggestions

The dressing for this salad is made with a balanced ratio of oil to lemon juice, which is fairly zingy, especially when mustard, garlic, capers and tomatoes are added to the mix. Accordingly, the wine you serve should also have some zing. The variety from Spain called Albariño would be a good choice here. Try Valminor Albariño.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 350
  • Carbohydrate Content 33 g
  • Cholesterol Content 50 mg
  • Fat Content 21 g
  • Fiber Content 4 g
  • Protein Content 11 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 6 g
  • Sodium Content 480 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g

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