Jamie Oliver's "Best" Pasta Salad & Winners

pasta salad2

I make this fresh and light pasta salad all summer long.

It's very simple and very delicious. I buy the cherry tomatoes at the farmer's market, since my plants aren't ready yet.

The secret is the boiled garlic cloves in the dressing, then mashed with the vinegar.
That makes this salad better than the usual garden variety pasta salad.

It's healthy and light and very addictive.

"Best" Pasta Salad (so Jamie Oliver says, but pretty close):

I use a variety of heirloom cherry tomatoes, red, yellow and green (about 2 lbs)
3/4 lb. (about 12 oz) of pasta shells
3 cloves of garlic
handful of kalamata olives, chopped
1 small cucumber cut into bite size pieces
handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
handful of snipped chives
5 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar (I probably use more)
8 tbsp of good olive oil (I just drizzle it in)
salt & pepper

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Throw in the pasta and cloves of garlic, boil until al dente, drain and run under cold water to cool. Put the garlic to one side to use for the dressing.

Put the cooked pasta into a bowl. Chop the tomatoes, olives, chives, basil and cucumber into pieces about half the size of the pasta and add to the bowl.

Squash the garlic cloves out of their skins and mush in a pestle and mortar. Add the vinegar, oil and seasoning. Drizzle this over the salad, adding a little more seasoning to taste.

As with most pasta salads, best served at room temperature.

The 2 randomly selected winners of the "favorite kitchen tool" contest are Gerri from Pittsburgh who said her "Pampered Chef bread knife" was her favorite, & Allison Hodges who "can't live without her Le Creuset Dutch oven".
Please contact me with your addresses, so you can receive the Black & Decker chopper!

Thanks everyone for your awesome comments. I loved reading them all.


Looks lovely, but olives are one of the few foods I just can't come around to. Would you sub in something or just make it without them?
Bluebird NY said…
This is a perfect antidote for a heat wave!
Anonymous said…
This is perfect for the 90 degree heat wave we are having!
Nice and light!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bluebird NY said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The JR said…
Congrats to the winners. That looks just like you said "fresh and light".
That looks like just what you said "fresh & light".
Stephanie said…
Hi Stacey, I love pasta salads and little tomatoes!
I have a bunch on my vine waiting to make this. I like Jamie Oliver, most of his recipes have been great.
Thanks for posting.
Shaheen said…
This was one recipe I made for lunch, long drives and snacks. Its been a while since I've had it, must make some soon. Thanks for reminding me.
Ciao Chow Linda said…
Stacey - I'm not a big pasta salad lover, but this one looks so beautiful and refreshing, I could dig right in. Congrats to the winners and I hope you're keeping cool.
Jen_from_NJ said…
I've been hunting for a good pasta salad recipe without mayo. This sounds perfect! Thank you!
Julie said…
Sounds delish! I never see those little yellow tomatoes. I'll have to look for them.
I've been watching Jamie Oliver on the new Cooking Channel, I love his rustic way of cooking, this looks and sounds good!
Pam said…
Bookmarked! This looks light and fantastic.