This Italian vegan pasta salad is full of zesty flavor, featuring kalamata olives, capers, tomatoes, and crisp romaine lettuce.
- 1 pound DeLallo Biodynamic Whole-Wheat Penne Rigate Pasta (vegan)
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (plus additional for pasta water and sprinkling)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (if you don’t have access to good fresh tomatoes, sub 1/2 cup thinly sliced sundried tomatoes)
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1/4 cup jarred capers, drained (like these DeLallo Capers)*
- 1/2 cup jarred sliced pepperoncini, drained*
- 1 1/2 hearts of romaine lettuce (6 cups chopped)
- 3/4 cup DeLallo Pitted Greek Calamata Olives
- Boil the pasta a large pot of water salted with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. When pasta is al dente, drain, rinse under cold water, and return to pot. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, the oregano, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and fresh ground pepper.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the zucchini. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and saute the zucchini, stirring in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and more fresh ground black pepper. Saute until just lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Then add the zucchini to the pot with the pasta.
- Slice the tomatoes in half and sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt. Slice the red onion into half moons. Add the tomatoes, red onion, capers (drained) and pepperoncini (drained) to the pot with the pasta.
- Chop the romaine into bite sized pieces and add it to a large bowl. Add the olives to the lettuce. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and mix with your hands so the olive brine coats the lettuce. Add the pasta and veggies to the romaine and toss to fully integrate.
- Serve immediately. If you’re not vegan, top with grated Parmesan cheese, but it’s optional and not needed for flavor. Store leftovers refrigerated for a day or so (you can also add additional olive oil and/or salt if it looses flavor over time).
*Don’t even think about omitting the capers here! Like the Kalamata olives, they’re key to the pasta’s flavor. **Some pepperoncini come as whole peppers; look for sliced jarred, or thinly slice the whole peppers yourself.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Pasta
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Italian, Italian Pasta Salad, Vegetarian Pasta Salad, Vegan Pasta Salad, Vegetarian, Vegan, Mediterranean, Olives, Kalamata Olives, Capers, Pepperoncini, Tomatoes