This delicious and colorful California pasta salad is always a party success ! The flavors only get better when you sit down!
Ironically, I discovered a California pasta salad during my recent trip to Wisconsin (if I’m new here, it’s just ridiculous because I actually live in California).
From the ceaseless backyard bonfires, lakeside picnics, and general summer joy, one of my friends brought this amazing pasta salad in recent memory.
It’s a giant bowl of chewable pasta, colorful vegetables, and the best Italian salad dressing I’ve ever had. And unlike any other version of California pasta salad you’ll find online, my marinade is made from scratch!
I imagine you all make this pasta salad in late summer when your gardens are filled with zucchini (some are just too big for their benefit; ) Hope you do! It is very good!
However, every version I find still uses store-bought Italian salad dressings.
We can do better!
Red wine sauce takes 2 minutes to make, tastes better, and is an ideal canvas to coat the additional flavors that go into this sauce (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, celery seeds, paprika, parmesan cheese).
If you’re reading this, mom, you can substitute a bottle of store-bought Italian (just add those 5 ingredients I listed in the previous sentence).
Flavors improve once the salad is seated! You will want to give it at least 2 hours, but feel free to leave it in the fridge overnight.
To prepare the salad dressing:
1 cup olive oil
Half a cup of red wine vinegar
A quarter cup of Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon sesame
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
2 teaspoons of poppy seeds
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
Half a teaspoon of celery seeds
A quarter of a teaspoon of salt or more to taste
To prepare the pasta salad:
Half a pound of thin spaghetti, divided into thirds
22 medium sized zucchini, cut into cubes
Half a liter of grape tomatoes, cut into halves
1 large hot house cucumber cut into cubes
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into cubes
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 (6.5 ounce) slices of black olives can be strained
In a small bowl with a whisk or in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, oregano, poppy seeds, garlic, paprika, celery seeds, and salt. Mix well and let the flavors mix while preparing the salad.
Boil 4 liters of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Adding spaghetti & cook as stated by to package direction, about 9 min . Drain well & washing with cold water.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix zucchini, tomato, cucumber, paprika, onion and black olives. Add the washed pasta and sprinkle with the salad dressing to taste (you don’t need to use it all). Cover and cool for at least 2 hours or overnight.