I live off of cold pasta salads this time of year, so this week I made this really simple and delicious Bruschetta Pasta, which is just a super fresh and summer pasta that is inspired by the flavors and ingredients in Bruschetta. This easy pasta salad makes a great side to go with dinner or you can grill up some garlic marinated chicken to serve on top and make it a meal!
What’s in Bruschetta Pasta
This summery and fresh pasta, inspired by Bruschetta, features tomatoes marinated in a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette, fresh basil, and tender pasta. That’s IT. It’s so simple, so fresh, and so very delicious! This is the perfect pasta to make if you have your own garden or have a friend who has a garden because fresh tomatoes and fresh basil are a must!
What Kind of Pasta to Use
I used penne pasta for this recipe because we had some on hand that needed to be used up, but I think any short-shaped pasta would be great here. Bowtie or campanelle would also be great. Longer pasta, like spaghetti would work in a pinch, but I suggest breaking it half to help the pieces of tomato mix into the pasta instead of having it all clump on the outside of the bowl.
What to Serve with Bruschetta Pasta
This easy pasta works great as a side dish to any grilled meat or fish, or you could add other ingredients to flesh out the pasta and make it a meal. Cubed mozzarella or fresh mozzarella pearls would be a natural fit for this pasta. Or you could make some garlic marinated chicken, slice it up, and serve it on top of the pasta. It would also be quite nice with seafood like garlic butter shrimp or Garlic Butter Baked Cod. And don’t forget a simple side salad to round out the meal!
- Make the vinaigrette first. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to a bowl, then whisk until smooth.
- Finely dice the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to a large bowl, then pour the dressing over top. Stir the combine the tomatoes and dressing, then set them aside to marinate.
- Cook the penne pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-8 minutes, or until tender), then drain well in a colander. Allow the pasta to cool.
- While the pasta is cooling, roughly chop the basil.
- Give the tomatoes another stir, then add the drained and cooled pasta and chopped basil to the bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Taste the pasta and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
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How to Make Bruschetta Pasta – Step by Step Photos
Make the vinaigrette first, so the flavors have some time to blend. Combine ⅓ cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 minced cloves of garlic, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp freshly cracked pepper. Whisk the ingredients together until smooth, then set the dressing aside.
Finely dice four Roma tomatoes or two large tomatoes.
Add the diced tomatoes to a large bowl, pour the vinaigrette over top, then stir them together. Let the tomatoes marinate while you cook 12 oz. pasta (according to the package directions). Drain the pasta well and allow it to cool.
While the pasta is cooling, chop about ½ cup (loosely packed, or ½ oz. weight) of fresh basil.
When the pasta is drained and mostly cool, give the tomatoes another stir, then add the pasta and basil to the bowl.
Stir everything together until evenly combined and coated in dressing. Give the pasta a taste and add more salt or pepper to your liking. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat (1-2 days).