A simple pasta salad recipe is one of those things everyone needs all summer long. This one is very easy, super portable, and kid-friendly while still a bit sophisticated. The capers add a little salty punch, but if you don’t mention them to the little ones, they probably won’t notice. Add more of those, and more red pepper flakes, if you want a bigger kick, and add diced cooked chicken or cooked shrimp if you want to make it more of a main dish.
- 3 cups roughly chopped broccoli
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Bring a very large pot of water to a boil Add a couple of tablespoons of salt, return to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions, until just al dente. About 2 minutes before the pasta is tender, add the chopped broccoli. Drain when both the pasta and the broccoli are just tender, and rinse with cold water.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, mustard, onion, capers, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes if using. Turn the rinsed pasta and broccoli into the bowl, and use a rubber spatula (or your clean hands) to mix everything together until the pasta is well coated with the dressing. Add a bit more olive oil if it seems too dry.