Bruschetta Pasta Salad.
This bruschetta pasta salad is a summer staple! Juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, shaved parmesan and the most delicious balsamic dressing. Serve immediately or make ahead of time and it’s perfect. Ideal for a party or just great for dinner – a dish that goes with everything!
Pasta salad summer!
Yes, I’m sharing yet another pasta salad!! But trust me, you do not want to pass this one up.
Tender pasta tossed in a delicious balsamic dressing with ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and a bit of shaved parmesan cheese?
SIGN ME UP.
This is the ultimate summer meal, in pasta salad form.
And that is not a joke. There are many days in summer where I create full meals out of basil and tomatoes (and, of course, cheese) and seriously, this pasta salad is out of this world.
It may not look like much. Just some tomatoes and basil – but the balsamic dressing is what takes it over the top. And it gets better as it sits, making it perfect for parties or even for prepping lunch the next day.
Now, I know that technically bruschetta means “bread” and well, we’re not making bread pasta salad. But what we are doing is taking all of the fabulous bruschetta ingredients (tomatoes! garlic! basil!) and mixing them into a pasta salad with a dressing that is unreal.
Seriously, this dressing is absolutely wonderful. Just wait!!
Lacy has been making the pasta salad for months now and raving about it. It’s so simple – but the flavors really marry together and create this classic, incredibly flavorful cold pasta salad that goes with just about anything. It’s always a hit. You can make this as a base pasta salad and actually add chicken to it. Or you can serve it on the side of any grilled meal.
Or take it a party, obviously!
Here’s how it goes down:
You want to use a tiny cut of pasta. This mafaldini from Trader Joe’s is so cute and works perfectly. Or this baby mafalda!
The dressing is perfect. Don’t skip the sugar! And I suggest actually using the sugar and not swapping it for honey or maple syrup. While I use those ingredients in my dressings all the time, the granulated sugar here is mixed with the balsamic vinegar and makes the dressing syrupy. Not in a bad way though. It thickens it which really helps it to coat every bit of the pasta and tomatoes. This is what makes the pasta salad special.
The rest is simple. Ripe tomatoes, diced onion or shallot, lots of fresh basil. There is a good bit of garlic in the dressing, which is where I prefer it. It marinates in there and takes away a bit of the bite. But if you want even more garlic, feel free to add it in with the tomatoes too!
Toss is all together. Make sure everything is combined and evenly distributed. Then eat!
The best part about this is that you can serve it immediately, or you can let it sit for a while. If you’re taking it to a party, I’d make the day of and serve, only because the basil will wilt. But if you’re just making it for yourself, it’s a great dish to prep ahead! It gets better in the fridge and goes with absolutely anything for dinner.
Bruschetta Pasta Salad
Bruschetta Pasta Salad
- 1 pound short-cut pasta (I used mafaldini from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 ½ cups of halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- ½ white onion diced
- ½ cup of chiffonade fresh basil
- ⅓ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to the directions.
- Combine the tomatoes with half of the basil, the onion and 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Let this sit until the pasta is done and everything is ready to combine.
- Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. Toss with half of the dressing - you want every noodle coated well. Add in the whole tomato basil mixture, tossing well to distribute. Add in the rest of the basil and the parmesan cheese. Add in the rest of the dressing and toss.
- Serve! This stays great in the fridge and gets better as it sits, aside from a few wilty herbs. Feel free to add fresh basil when serving!
- Whisk together the garlic, vinegar, sugar, mustard, oregano and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is thickened and emulsified. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use! Just whisk or shake before using.
Also how cute are these noodles?!