Always salt your pasta water! Your pasta water should be as salty as the ocean – seriously. This is going to amp up the flavor of your pasta and thus the entire salad. Cold pasta dishes can sometimes have a more muted flavor than warm pasta dishes, so this is your chance to enhance the flavor of your pasta right out of the gate.
Rinse your pasta right after cooking to stop the cooking process and cool it down quickly. Everyone has an opinion about rinsing pasta. I never rinse my pasta UNLESS it’s for a pasta salad. There is nothing worse than mushy pasta in a pasta salad. So I like to give it a quick rinse right after straining it. This cools it quickly so that you can make your salad right away and it also stops the pasta from continuing to cook and get mushy.
Use the leftover oil from the sun dried tomatoes to make the dressing for the salad. This will really infuse the salad with that sun dried tomato flavor. I like to pour the sun dried tomato oil into a 1/2 cup measuring cup and then add olive oil until there is a 1/2 cup total. Then add the oil back into the sun dried tomato jar so you can get all those yummy bits of herb and sun dried tomato mixed into the dressing.
If you’ll be enjoying this pasta several hours later or even throughout the week, just add half the dressing initially. Then add the rest of the dressing just before serving. This will keep the flavors fresh and also prevent the pasta from getting soggy.
This pasta salad is a great meal prep lunch for a busy work week! Dress the pasta with half the dressing, then add it to your individual meal prep containers or mason jars. Just before eating, give the salad another splash of dressing and enjoy!
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