Italian Pasta Salad

This is a great simple summer Italian Pasta Salad you won’t want to stop eating.  The Italian dressing is light on the vinegar and with the mix of Asiago cheese, roasted peppers and fresh basil take it to another level of yumminess!!!


I was so excited for Easter this year.  Beto and Paloma came over and we went to our friends Alison and Anders for an egg hunt and potluck!  Paloma hung out with their kids Viola and Bjorn at our wedding.  They really like each other, and it was cute to see them hunting for eggs together.


This is one of my favorite pasta salads and knew it would be perfect for this potluck, along with some wine of course.  It goes great with a Pinot Gris, white Rioja, a light Pinot Noir or Tempranillo.


Recipe –  6 – 8 servings

  • 1 – 16 oz Package Pasta (Your Choice) 
  • 1 Container Cherry Tomatoes (About 2 Cups)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – roasted – diced
  • 1 Small Yellow Bell Pepper – roasted – diced
  • 1/4 Red Onion – minced
  • 1 Cup Asiago Cheese – finely shredded  (You can use Parmesan if you like it milder)
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil – chiffonade or torn
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Recipe Basic Italian Dressing

Start by cooking the pasta according to the package.  When pasta is al dente put into a large bowl and let cool.


Roast the peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.

Add tomatoes, red onion, peppers, Asiago and the Basic Italian Dressing to the pasta and stir well.

Tear or lay the basil leaves on top of each other, roll them into a tight tube shape and slice thin into strips and add to bowl.  Stir well.


Health benefits:

Bell Peppers are matured green bell peppers and have more nutrition as they mature.  They are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin.  Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes breaks down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zea-xanthin in them helps filtering harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.


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