Here’s a recipe for my all-time favorite pasta salad – full of fresh healthy ingredients and exciting flavors – delicious and beautiful enough for any occasion. The original recipe is from the July 1998 Bon Appetite magazine, and I’ve made only a few tweaks to their version – increased the quantity (because you can’t get enough), lightened up the oil a bit, and added arugula. There are two reasons why I call it “out of this world pasta salad recipe.”
It’s obvious from the name that I think this recipe is amazing, but what you might not know, especially if you’re new to Panning The Globe, is that I have a category of recipes called “Out of this world.” If you look at the menu across the very top of this site, you’ll see the world’s continents. All the way to the right, you’ll see “out of this world.” Although the mission of Panning The Globe is to find recipes from every country in the world, I created this extra category as a loophole for sharing fantastic recipes that aren’t connected to a country or a continent. If you move your cursor over those continents or to “out of this world,” you’ll get a drop-down menu that gives you a fun way to search for recipes on this site.
Minty basil, bitter radicchio, peppery arugula, and spicy garlic are some of the exciting fresh flavors that make this pasta salad so healthy and delicious.
Toasted pine nuts add a lovely sweet note.
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ⅔ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar of drained, oil-packed sun dried tomatoes)
- ⅔ cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (3-4 large cloves)
- 1 cup toasted pine nuts (Toast in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until they start to turn golden brown in spots.)
- 1 head of radicchio, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1½ cups chopped arugula leaves (about 3 ounces)
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- 1 cup freshly-grated parmigiana cheese (about 5 ounces) I recommend Parmigiana Reggiano
- Kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- Cook the pasta al dente (firm to the bite) in a pot of boiling water with pinch of salt. Drain and transer to a large bowl. While the pasta is still hot add the oil, vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and garlic. Stir to combine. Set aside to cool or cover and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
- Once everything comes to room temperature add the rest of the ingredients - pine nuts, radicchio, arugula, basil and parmigiana. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss again. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!