Summer is here officially and it's about time!  For me the whole concept of picnic is about sharing time with friends over tasty nibbles be it in a backyard or at a more tradition in the park on a blanket setting.  So when some friends invite me to a backyard bash and ask me to bring something I know exactly what I want to make.  Pasta Salad is an easy, quick, no fuss item that is best made a day ahead of time so that the flavours have a chance to come together.   This Mediterranean take on pasta salad is not only filled with veggies but packs the bold flavours or garlic and basil. Summer isn't summer without a little time spent with friends in an outdoor setting sharing food, so pack your sunscreen, wear your cutest summer outfit and make a giant batch of picnic perfect pasta salad and you'll be all set!


Here's what you'll need:


1 box farfalle pasta

1 can slice black olives – drained 

1 large red onions  –  very finely sliced

1 large packet grape tomatoes - quartered

2 cucumbers – sliced into quarters

1 orange bell pepper - sliced

1 yellow bell pepper – sliced

5-6 large cloves garlic

1 cup white white vinegar

¼ cup Olive Oil

8-10 fresh basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste




Add the olives, onions, grape tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers into a large bowl.  Add salt and pepper, chopped fresh basil, the vinegar and oil.  As this mixture sits the veggies will begin to release some juices and that will help add a depth of flavour to the dressing. 




Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Add the garlic cloves and pasta to the water and allow to cook. When the pasta is ready fish out the garlic cloves and set them aside.  Strain the pasta and allow it to cool for a few minutes. While it cools mash the garlic cloves with a fork and add it to your veggie mixture.  Combine the warm pasta with your veggies and mix well.  Toss in the fridge overnight.




When cooking the pasta make sure it's “al dente” (the Italian words for to the tooth).  Al dente just means that when you bite into to it doesn't completely fall apart and cooking the pasta til this point means it will hold up better.


This Picnic Perfect Pasta Salad creation is courtesy of Laurie Martel - No, I'm not a chef but I love cooking, baking, mixing cocktails and sharing my creations as a way to express myself