This is my all-time Favorite Pasta Salad Recipe! Orzo pasta is mixed with chopped lettuces, herbs, garlic, olives and sun dried tomatoes, and tossed with garlicky balsamic dressing, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese. It’s simply amazing – The Best Pasta Salad I’ve ever cooked or tasted!! Hence the name Out of This World Pasta Salad.
Everyone needs a go to pasta salad recipe and this is mine. A big beautiful bowl of this colorful pasta salad on the buffet table is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
It’s obvious from the name (and all my raves) 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 particular 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.
HOW TO MAKE OUT OF THIS WORLD PASTA SALAD
- The first step is to cook and drain the orzo pasta.
- While the pasta is still hot, add the the oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped kalamata olives, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Toss everything together. All of the wonderful flavors will soak into the hot pasta and the oil will keep the orzo from sticking together.
- While you’re waiting for the pasta to cool down you can chop the salad ingredients and toast the pine nuts.
- When the pasta is cool, add the fresh chopped salad ingredients, toasted pine nuts and grated cheese.
- I like to serve this pasta salad right away, when the basil is bright green and the lettuces are crisp, but you can make it several hours ahead of time and it will still be delicious. It’s even great the next day.
Out of This World Pasta Salad Recipe
An incredibly delicious, colorful pasta salad – fit for any occasion.
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 7 mins
- Total Time: 47 mins
- Yield: 12-14 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Out of this World
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar of drained, oil-packed sun dried tomatoes)
- 2/3 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)
- 1 1/2 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 pasta 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!
Keywords: orzo pasta salad, best pasta salad, favorite pasta salad