A traditional pasta salad means spiral pasta paired with broccoli, cauliflower, and red onion, and topped with a simple Italian dressing. All that and it takes less than thirty minutes to make! It’s really simple, it’s quick to make, and it’s perfect for summer.
In a large stockpot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp salt and the pasta. Boil the pasta until al dente, slightly underdone, 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pasta and run it under cool water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled pasta, chopped broccoli, chopped cauliflower, diced red onion, and minced parsley. Pour over the dressing (directions below) and stir. Cover and store in the refrigerator at least one hour before serving.
For the dressing
In a medium bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, oregano, thyme, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, shallot, garlic, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and olive oil. Whisk to combine and set aside until the salad is ready to combine.
When combining the pasta, vegetables, and dressing, the pasta can still warm to the touch but not hot. Hot pasta would soak in too much of the dressing but slightly warm pasta will allow the pasta to soak in some of the dressing once it’s poured over the pasta and vegetables.
When chopping up the broccoli and cauliflower, do not throw at the stems. These stalk-like pieces work so well when thrown into the pasta salad along with the florets. Rather than waste, these pieces are completely edible.
Make this recipe a few hours before serving and place it in the refrigerator. The entire mixture will cool down and the dressing will have time to soak into the pasta. This will make the dressing more robust as it combines with all of the ingredients.