Summer Pasta Salad

I love a good pasta salad, don’t you?  I’ve tried tons of different recipes and I don’t know if I’ve ever met a pasta salad that I didn’t really like.  For Matilda’s “Tea for 2” party I wanted to do an updated version of a traditional classic.  This is my version of Summer Pasta Salad with fresh herbs, sun dried tomatoes, peas, black olives and asparagus.

Serves 15-20
2 lbs. tri-color rotini pasta
1 cup zesty Italian dressing
1 cup Caesar dressing
1/2 jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
10 fresh chives
Handful of fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 small cans sliced black olives
Half bag of frozen peas, thawed (run under hot water)
10 cooked asparagus spears, cut into 1″ pieces


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Once cooking is complete, rinse thoroughly under cold water to remove starch and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, make your dressing for the pasta salad.  Combine both dressings, sun dried tomatoes (with some of the olive oil), and all the fresh herbs.  Place in a blender and puree until dressing comes together.  Feel free to add any additional fresh herbs that your family loves.

Pour dressing into a large mixing bowl.  Combine pasta, olives, peas, asparagus, and dressing until pasta is fully coated.  Place in refrigerator to cool.  Remove from refrigerator 1 hour prior to serving and stir.  Can be made up to two days ahead of time.

 Garnish with fresh parsley or any other herbs.  We just happen to have a lot of parsley in our garden this year so that’s what I chose to use.  My Grandma Marge always taught us to never serve a dish without a garnish.  I think she would be proud.

This is a wonderful dish for entertaining because it can be made up to two days in advance and only continues to get better the longer it sits.  You can add any vegetables that are in season or that your family enjoys.  I think this would be amazing with some grilled zucchini or roasted bell peppers.  Just make the dressing and see what you happen to have on hand – you can’t really go wrong!

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  1. Grandma Jane says

    With love for a good garnish and asparagus, your Grandma Marge would have LOVED this yummy salad!

  2. It looks and sounds absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe I will have to give it a try!


  3. Enjoying your tips for entertaining. Always looking for summer meal ideas.

    Past summers my partner and I have rented cottages in various places, mostly BC, but once in Alberta. I normally host a potluck at the end of our stay and invite people in neighbouring cottages.

    Next summer we will be in our very own cottage. We just bought one of the new cottages being built on Osoyoos Lake in BC (

    There will be a communal kitchen (perfect for potlucks, I won’t have to host!) I’ll be looking to your blog for recipe ideas!

    Going to try out that pasta salad tonight…

  4. Very nice, thanks for the information.
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  5. Hey this blog is sooooo yummmy….
    nice tips) i suppose they can be quite helpful!

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