Italian Pasta Salad: Fresh from the garden


One of my favorite summer pastimes is strolling through the farmer’s market; I’ve made it a weekly ritual in each city I’ve lived. The moment when I first step inside and take in the array of colors, sweet scents and buzz of a relaxed crowd is captivating. I have a vivid memory of this moment when traveling with my parents and stumbling upon the farmer’s market at Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy. Enjoying the gathering of old and young as we shop for dinner, fresh cut flowers and homemade jams. Inhaling the fresh summer breeze and soaking up the warm sunshine, this celebration of food and community unites us.PicFrame-12

I am fortunate to have somewhat of a farmer’s market in my parents backyard, from grape vines to fruit trees, juicy tomatoes and cucumbers that seem to multiply in size overnight, and fresh herbs that make the most aromatic bouquets. Each week my mom and I pick the ripest vegetables to share with our family and neighbors.


Whether you are growing your own garden this year, frequenting your local farmer’s market or visiting the supermarket this Italian inspired pasta salad is perfect to share on a warm summer afternoon.

pastasaladItalian Pasta Salad
Makes 8 servings

1 pound (454g) of whole wheat pasta
1 cucumber
1 large tomato
15 oz can (425g) of kidney beans
1 small red onion
1 sweet banana pepper
1 green Melrose pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons (5.3g) fresh basil
2 tablespoons (5.3g) curly parsley

Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) Dijon Mustard
1/2 (2g) teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon (1g) black pepper
1 teaspoon (6.8g) maple syrup
3 tablespoons (39g) extra virgin olive oil
A handful of Italian olives (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add your pasta. While the pasta is cooking chop your tomato, cucumber, red onion, peppers and herbs. Open the can of beans, rinse and drain them thoroughly. Add all the chopped vegetables and beans to a large serving bowl except for the tomatoes and herbs.
  2. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. When the pasta is cooked to taste drain the boiling water and immediately add cold water to the pot, let sit for a few minutes to cool off the pasta. Add the cooled pasta to the serving bowl with the vegetables and beans. Pour your dressing over and mix together. Add your chopped tomatoes and herbs on top along with the optional Italian olive mix.

Nutrition per serving, including Italian olives

Calories: 338.5; Carbs: 60g; Fiber: 10g; Protein: 11.5g; Fat: 6.5g


About Author

Yoga teacher, personal trainer, health coach, cat momma and chocolate lover. Certified in Plant Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell, vegan since 2001 and vegetarian for 10 years prior. Traded in the treadmill for the weight room and hasn't looked back. Passionate about health, fitness and making daily positive changes.

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