11 ounce bag or box of small shell-shaped pasta (whole wheat if you can find it)
3 cloves garlic
1 yellow bell pepper
About 15-18 red cherry tomatoes
1 handful black olives, pitted
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1/3 cup fresh basil
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and garlic. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until al dente, and drain. Put the pasta in a bowl, and take the garlic out and mash. Set aside to add to the dressing.
While the pasta is cooking, chop the tomatoes, cucumber, and black olives into small pieces, about the size of the pasta or smaller. You don't want it pureed, so I don't suggest using a food processor, but just roughly chop, and place in the bowl with the pasta.
Dice the yellow bell pepper, and use the same pot you used to cook the pasta, and cook the pepper in just about 1/2 cup hot water just to soften. This only takes 3 to 5 minutes. You want the pepper cooked, but still crisp. Drain and add to the pasta.
Roughly chop the herbs and add to pasta
Mix the mashed garlic cloves, the oil, lemon juice, and vinegar, and a little salt and pepper together in a separate bowl. Pour over pasta and mix well. Chill for about 2 hours or overnight, and serve. It's so simple and people will love it!
My favorite salad is actually just quartered cucumber and tomato topped with balsamic vinegar. I thought about making a pasta salad that could use those ingrediants and this is what I came up with. After I first made this salad and tried it, I felt like it was a little plain, so I decided to add lemon juice. I wanted to start small, so I just added a tablespoon, and that ended up being enough. It added just enough flavor to change it from plain to perfect. I brought this pasta salad to my friends Labor Day party, and it went pretty quick. It's so simple to make, refreshing, and quite a crowd pleaser. Try it out, and Let me know what you think!