Olive Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
Here is an ideal salad for a potluck or picnic, quick and simple to make.
1-pound uncooked small spiral, shell, or mostaccioli pasta
4 medium-sized tomatoes, cut into wedges or 18 cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 cups diced fresh vegetables such as onions, broccoli, spinach and garbanzo beans, optional.
1 cup pitted black olives, drained
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
⅔ cup cubed vegan or dairy cheese, for example Swiss cheese or smoked mozzarella (optional)
pinch of red pepper or to taste, optional.
¾ cup olive oil (or half olive oil and half vegetable oil)
¼ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh onion
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon (scant) crumbled dry basil
1 teaspoon (scant) crumbled dry oregano
1-2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup.
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
As a gluten-free and vegan alternative, use any similarly shaped gluten-free pasta. Omit honey and use maple syrup or agave nectar.
Cook pasta to the al dente stage according to package instructions. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold running water until cooled.
In a bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, olives, artichokes, and cheese. Pour ½ cup or more Italian Dressing over salad and toss well.
Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve cold.
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process until well mixed.