I’m always on the lookout for new recipes for pasta salad and this new find from the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit is well worth trying. Instead of the usual mayonnaise-based dressing, it uses olivada – a combination of chopped green olives, capers, red wine vinegar, anchovy paste, mustard and hot pepper flakes. Tossed with pasta, cherry tomatoes, bocconicini cheese and oregano, it makes a great summer side dish or main dish for vegetarians.

Pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and green olivada

A number of ingredients in this recipe can contain additives or preservatives, including the olives, capers, red wine vinegar and Dijon. Read the labels carefully to avoid benzoate of soda and sulfites. I use Pilaros garlic-stuffed green olives, Unico capers, Eden organic red wine vinegar and President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon.


1 garlic clove, peeled

2 cups coarsely chopped pitted green olives (from about 6 ounces unpitted whole olives), divided

3 tablespoons capers, drained

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound gemelli, fusilli, or rotelle pasta

2 pints cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved

1 8-ounce package small (cherry-size) fresh mozzarella balls in water*

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Also called bocconcini, fresh mozzarella balls packed in water are available at many supermarkets.


With machine running, add garlic clove to processor through feed tube and process until finely chopped; turn off machine. Add 1 cup chopped olives, capers, red wine vinegar, anchovy paste, mustard, and crushed red pepper. Using 6 on/off turns, process to chop coarsely. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil, forming coarse puree. Transfer to bowl; stir in remaining 1 cup olives. Season olivada to taste with salt and pepper. Olivada can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Transfer drained pasta to large bowl. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over pasta; toss to coat. Cool, stirring occasionally.

Add olivada, halved tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano to pasta; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

From the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit