Simple balsamic pasta salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, arugula and basil in an easy vinaigrette. Serve as a side dish or light meal. | Gluten Free + Vegan
When I lived in Arizona, cloudy days were a rarity. We’d get about a month of dark & stormy weather towards the end of summer for monsoon season. It would be hot, humid and totally blergh. We’d also get the occasional dust storms that would blow in and blow out as quickly as they came. While they’d always look intimidating, it’s literally just dust.
In England however, it’s the opposite. You’ll never see so many people rushing outside to sit on grass than you’d see here on a sunny summer day. It’s great.
It could be a cool, crisp 50°F/10°C day and you’d still find everyone and their mother dressed in shorts, tank tops, and sandals trying to expose as much skin to the sun as humanly possible. It makes sense when you know you’ve got a very limited window of sun throughout the year.
I forget just how big the sky can actually look when it’s not covered in a thick, low hanging coverage of grey clouds. I miss it so much!
Warm weather is coming slow this year, but at least it’s coming. I’m ready for the impromptu BBQ’s and everything else that comes along with it. There are few things better than a summer evening eating food outside with a tall glass of fruit filled pimms.
And of course no BBQ is complete without the quintessential pasta salad. And for such events, I’ve got just the thing:
Tomato & Arugula Balsamic Pasta Salad!
If you’re a fan of simple pastas, you’re going to love this recipe!
It really packs in the flavour without taking too much time or many ingredients. At most this takes about 20 minutes to make – the time it takes to boil your (gluten free) pasta + a little extra time to mix it all together.
While your pasta is boiling mix together the simple balsamic dressing:
Salt & Pepper
Coat your cherry tomatoes in the dressing and set aside to marinate in the fridge until you’re done prepping the pasta. When you’re all ready to go just toss everything together and you’re done!
✔️Big on flavour
This balsamic pasta salad is great to serve on hot summer days as sides or light lunches/dinners. Since there’s no dairy in here you don’t have to worry about it spoiling too quickly out in the sun. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days so this could also be a great addition as a side for any meal prep work lunches throughout the week.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 pound gluten free penne (450g)
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided (95ml)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar + more for drizzling at the end if needed (30ml)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half (150g)
- 2 cups arugula/rocket (40g)
- Fill large pot of water 2/3 of the way full and add the salt. Bring the water to a boil and then carefully add in the pasta. Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente - springy & chewy & not mushy. It should take about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir often. Gluten free pasta likes to clump so you really need to keep it moving to prevent it from sticking together.
- In a small mixing bowl add the 1/3 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss the tomatoes in the oil mixture. Place the bowl in the fridge until ready to use.
- When the pasta is done, drain the boiling water and rinse under cold water to cool it down and keep it from cooking. Drain well.
- Add the pasta to a large bowl and pour the oil/tomato mixture over the top. Add the arugula and toss well to combine and coat everything in the dressing. Add more salt & pepper as needed.
- Serve cold or at room temperature and enjoy!
This recipe keeps well for several days in the refrigerator, covered. Serve leftovers warm or chilled. If you want to spruce up leftovers add some fresh arugula before re-serving.