Chilled Pasta Salad

by Jenn on July 15, 2010

in Gluten Free,Pastas and Grains,Salads,Seafood

Pasta Salad

I tend to lose my appetite easily when it is grossly hot outside like it has been this week, tending towards fresh fruits and greens over carbs & meats.  There’s just one problem with desiring such lighter fare day after day – I don’t consume enough calories and then I am hungry.  So how to eat something more substantial when I don’t feel like anything heavy?  Why of course, a chilled flavorful pasta salad!

Unfortunately, pasta salads for me often invoke images of mayonnaise laden macaroni concoctions at a sweltering hot picnic brunch that leave my stomach in that “sunken” feeling after eating, like a giant boulder decided to take up residence in my tummy.  It’s usually not an awesome experience.  However, thanks to my friend Stacy over at Little Blue Hen, her Greek pasta with colorful visions of artichoke hearts and olives was exactly the inspiration I needed.  A light olive oil and vinegar dressing and some great bright flavors sounded perfect to me.

Most everything I had already in my pantry too, which means I didn’t have to go back out in the heat to the store to buy things.  Not that going to the store is an issue, but climbing the freaking hill back up to our apartment is.  Did I ever tell you that I am a complete wimp in the heat (especially if there is no A/C to be had)?  There’s a reason why most of my work & travels have been to cooler regions, or why my husband and I chose the chilly windy New England shore in the Autumn rather than a tropical Caribbean island for our honeymoon.  A beach all to myself on a day where the high is 50ºF with 30 knot winds?  Now that’s my kinda vacation:


Pasta Salad

This pasta salad was the perfect remedy for the incessant heat here en Suisse- adding in beans and tuna not only added new flavors to the salad, but also some valuable calories and protein to my day in a way that still felt light and refreshing.  Simple and easy, filling, and yet not too heavy on a hot day.  Just what I needed :)

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays


Inspired by Greek Pasta from Stacy of Little Blue Hen

Ingredients (4 -6 servings):
8 oz. spiral pasta (GF if need be)
1 cup quartered artichoke hearts (packed in olive oil)
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (packed in olive oil), sliced
1/2 cup garlic stuffed green olives, pitted and quartered
2 cups borlotti beans, cooked, drained and rinsed
1 can tuna, drained
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs. cider vinegar
1 tbs. Italian herbs
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated padano cheese (or parmesan)

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions and then put drained pasta in a large bowl.
2. Add in artichoke hearts, red peppers, olives, beans, and tuna.  In a small bowl whisk olive oil, vinegar and herbs together, then pour on top of pasta salad and add salt & pepper.  Mix with a large spoon to bring everything together.
3. Chill in the fridge at least 2 hrs or until cold.  Serve on bed of romaine lettuce if desired, and sprinkle with cheese.