Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, & Fresh Basil Pasta Salad

July 30, 2018
Sun dried tomato, artichoke, & fresh basil pasta salad with olives and mozzarella ~ dressed simply and flavorfully with olive oil and red wine vinegar.  It's a family all-time favorite, for sure.
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Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, & Fresh Basil Pasta Salad Image

When I first made this Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, & Basil Pasta Salad, my husband said, "You have to blog about this!"

That, my friends, is super high praise from my husband, whose usual response to food he likes is a simple "It's good."  If I get an "it's good" from my husband, I know I have a winner.

Of course, it was at his request that this particular pasta salad was created ~ inspired by a grocery store pasta salad he loves.

When I first made this pasta salad, my husband said, "You have to blog about this!"

Back when we lived in the Charlotte, NC area, there was a grocery store not far from our church that had a fabulous salad bar.  Quite often on our way home from church on Sunday, we'd stop there and grab a quick salad for lunch.

One day they had a pasta salad chock full of sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella (two of my hubby's favorites), dressed very simply with olive oil.

Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatos, Artichoke, & Fresh Basil Image

Of course, Mark took a big old scoop.

After about two bites, Mark looked at me and said, "Can you make this?"

Well, you all know how I love to figure out recipes ... so of course I said, "I think I can figure something out."  Challenge accepted.

After a couple of tries, I had the flavor nailed.  We found that dressing this pasta salad very simply works best ~ the dressing is just a simple combination of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  When these two ingredients mix with the salad's fresh basil and oil from the sun dried tomatoes, it's a truly fabulous flavor.

We found that dressing this pasta salad very simply works best ~ the dressing is just a simple combination of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Nothing more needed than a small touch of salt.

And this salad is one of those whose flavor only gets better with time.  I recommend allowing the flavors to meld in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

If you make it more in advance than that, the flavors will just continue to get better and better.  Be aware, though, the pasta does absorb some of the olive oil. Drizzle with a small amount of additional olive oil and toss just before serving if the salad seems like it needs to be “moistened.”

My husband Mark loved this copycat version so much that this pasta salad has now become a household staple.  And it still gets Mark's super high praise every time!

Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, & Fresh Basil Pasta Salad Recipe Image
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Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, & Fresh Basil Pasta Salad
Source:  A Tracey creation, inspired by a local grocery store salad bar
Ingredients
  • about 10 oz. cavatappi or rotini pasta
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, slightly drained and julienned
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar marinated artichoke heart quarters, drained
  • 1 c. green olives, halved
  • About 10 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar
  • about ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Directions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green olives, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Add pasta; toss to combine.
  3. Add red wine vinegar, salt, and olive oil. Mix well.
  4. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.
  5. As the salad sits, the pasta absorbs some of the olive oil. Drizzle with a small amount of additional olive oil and toss just before serving if salad needs to be “moistened.”

Notes:
- Whole wheat pasta can be used, no problem.
- You don't have to bother to drain the sun dried tomatoes much.  The olive oil they're packed in brings fabulous flavor to the salad.
- For large artichoke quarters, I cut them in half ... so I guess that makes them into 8ths!

Enjoy!


Please enjoy these other delicious pasta salads from The Kitchen is My Playground ...

Amish Macaroni Salad



23 comments

  1. I will be trying this one out for shower. Maybe it will be a favorite for Mr. Noles as well!

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  2. Yum! I've been thinking about finding good pasta salad recipes so I can bring some to work for lunch. This sounds so good - I can't wait to try it!

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  3. Beautiful photos and just love the idea of the sweet artichoke hearts! Thanks so much for sharing

    Dave at eRecipeCards.com

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  4. I am making this pasta salad for sure. It has all the scrumptious ingredients I love, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and basil. This is a real winner!!!!
    Please join ON THE MENU MONDAY, my weekly foodie/recipe/menu linky party. Linky goes live every Sunday night at 8:00pm. Hope to see you and your recipes there!

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  5. Love, Love Love all the ingredients, it sounds delicious and I am crazy for a pasta salad especially during the summer. They keep well in the fridge, you can add so many nutritious ingredinent and I just love it. Thanks of r sharing the reicpe.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

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  6. This looks great. I always am on the look out for good pasta salad recipes that can be a main meal. Thank you.
    Coming from Foodie Friday today.

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  7. This sounds and looks so good!

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  8. This looks very interesting. I'm going to try it substituting some cooked fiddleheads as it is springtinme and we are the height of fiddlehead season here in the Maine Northwoods. I just love sun dried tomatoes with pasta. This sounds yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, wow! I think fiddlehead ferns would be wonderful in this!! You're bringing back memories ... I haven't had fiddleheads in years (MANY years).

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  9. Except for some cheese this dish can be a pantry pull together meal. Thanks for sharing it on foodie friday.

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  10. This would be perfect for our BBQ next weekend! I'd love if you'd come share this at my 'camping recipe' link party!

    http://onesweetappetite.com/camping-food-a-list/

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  11. Perfect summertime salad! That looks SO good! Thanks for sharing on "Strut Your Stuff Saturday!" We hope to see you this friday! -The Sisters

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  12. This sounds and looks wonderful! Just my kind of main dish salad for summer. Pinned!

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  13. I would just gobble up your awesome Salad, it looks delicious. Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday this week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  14. What a beautiful dish! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  15. i cant wait to try!!! pinned

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  16. I'm going to try this recipe for sure, I'm Italian and all my family like those ingredients. Thank you Tracey!

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  17. I absolutely love this pasta salad. I add a little Marzetti Simply Dressed Light Roasted Tomato vinaigrette.

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  18. Hi, can this pasta be made the night before? Thank you!

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