I loved this pasta salad because it was filled with great flavors and textures. I really liked the creamy mozzarella with the sweet tomatoes and roasted bell peppers along with the salty kalamata olives and the tangy artichoke hearts. The whole grain pasta had a nice nutty flavor and went really nicely with the Dijon vinaigrette. I served this delicious pasta salad with the Garlic and Herb Shrimp Skewers for a healthy and tasty meal. My kids loved this salad so much they asked for the leftovers in their lunch bag the next day.
Add a tsp of oil to the pot you will be cooking the pasta in. Add the shallot and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes; remove from the pan and place into a small dish. Add the minced garlic to the dish followed by the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Whisk until well combined then set aside. Side Note: You don’t have to cook the shallot – I did because it had a very strong flavor and I didn’t want it to overpower the vinaigrette.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water per instructions. Drain then rinse with cold water to cool the pasta. Toss the pasta into a large serving bowl then add the roasted bell peppers, grape tomatoes, sliced kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, basil, and diced mozzarella. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top then gently toss to coat evenly. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Enjoy.