I was going on a trip recently where I hadn't eaten before leaving and I knew that my options at the airport weren't going to satiate me. I happened to have some leftover cooked farfalle paste from dinner the night before, and it dawned on me that I had the makings for a super simple yet really delicious pasts salad. The secret was the jarred olive salad that I usually have on hand from either Costco or Trader Joe's. Both brands are fantastic tasting, pretty inexpensive, keep in the fridge a while, and add a pop of flavor and wholesome nutrition (in moderation) to many dishes.
I was able to whip up this pasta salad in 5 minutes, pack it in a disposable container, and carry it all the way through security to enjoy at the gate. Whether needing a quick lunch for work, home, or travel, I will definitely be making this recipe more routinely.
- 1/3 to 1/2 packet of pasta cooked (about 6-8oz dried pasta) - farfalle and rotini are my favorite shapes for pasta salad
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) jarred olive salad
- Optional additions:
- 1 can drained and rinsed garbanzo beans for added protein
- 2-4 tbsp jarred artichokes diced
- 2-4 tbsp jarred roasted red pepper diced
- 2-4 tbsp cauliflower diced
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 2 tbsp finely chopped spring or red onion
- Ideally cook the pasta the night before and refrigerate overnight. I always add olive oil to my hot cooked pasta to keep it from sticking so I don't add any more in this recipe.
- Transfer the cooked, cold pasta to a mixing bowl or the container you plan to store the finished pasta salad in to save on dishes.
- Add the olive oil and red wine vinegar and toss to evenly coat the pasta.
- Add the olive salad and any optional ingredients and toss. For my recent version, I added garbanzo beans, artichokes, and spinach. It was fantastic.
- Taste test and adjust seasoning. I like a good punch of vinegar so typically add up to 1-2 teaspoons more, especially if the other ingredients I add aren't pickled. You can also add salt and pepper to taste at this stage.
- Enjoy right away or store in the fridge and enjoy over the course of a few days.