Classic pasta gets a French twist in this Nicoise pasta salad, perfect for any occasion. Make this pasta salad ahead of time and pair it with a refreshing drink like San Pellegrino for the ultimate summer picnic.
Nicoise Pasta Salad
One of my favorite things about pasta salad is that it only gets better with time. Unlike a traditional salad made with leafy greens, you don’t have to worry about anything wilting or becoming super soggy when you make a pasta salad ahead of time.
This Nicoise pasta salad is my spin on a favorite pasta salad recipe. I love the added texture from the blanched green beans and the heartiness of the hard boiled eggs.
A traditional Nicoise salad is made with potatoes, green beans, hardboiled eggs, anchovy fillets, tomatoes, capers, olives, and tuna. The dressing is usually vinegar and olive oil based. There are plenty of variations of a Nicoise salad, but for the most part, most of them have those ingredients.
This Nicoise pasta salad carries a lot of those ingredients as well. I left out the anchovies and tuna since I’m not a big fan of either, and I also left out the potatoes since I didn’t want to produce carb overwhelm with the pasta.
The dressing for this pasta salad also has red wine vinegar, olive oil, and some fantastic sun-dried tomatoes; the dressing truly makes this pasta salad absolutely delicious. If you make the pasta the evening before you want to enjoy it, it’ll be even better because the pasta will have time to marinate in the tasty dressing.
I love packing this Nicoise pasta salad for summer picnics. I usually pour the pasta into a food storage container and pack it alongside a nice refreshment like S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.
It’s always nice to drink something fizzy and refreshing on a summer day, and San Pellegrino’s sparkling water delivers that and more. I also find it compliments fine foods like this Nicoise pasta salad really well.
To make the most out of your picnic, I suggest packing some fresh summer fruit too, like berries or peaches, which you can also toss into your glass of sparkling water.
To learn more about great summer flavors and other cool recipe twists, make sure to visit S.Pellegrino®’s Taste Guide. Their taste guide offers a unique perspective of the latest culinary trends through the eyes of acclaimed chefs and lifestyle influencers.
Nicoise Pasta Salad
Classic pasta salad gets a French twist with added green beans, olives, and hardboiled eggs. Perfect for a summer picnic!
For the Salad
- 3/4 lb. fusili or rotini pasta
- 1 tomato diced
- 3/4 cup kalamata olives pitted and sliced in half, vertically
- 1 cup chopped green beans (cut into 1" long pieces)
- 4 eggs
- 2 oz. feta cheese cubed
For the Dressing
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 5 whole sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 tsp capers drained
- 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, add all of the dressing ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth (it will look grainy - this is OK).
Once the pasta is ready, use a slotted spoon to remove the pasta from the pot and into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss together.
Leave the water boiling in the pot over the stove and add in the eggs and the chopped green beans. Set the timer to 12 minutes for the eggs, but only cook the green beans for a few minutes, until they're tender but still have a bite. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add the green beans to the pasta salad. Once the eggs are ready, run them under cold water then peel and cut into quarters. Add the eggs to the pasta salad.
Top the salad off with the feta cheese and sliced olives then give everything a gentle toss. Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to pack it. If you're serving it at home, take the pasta salad out of the fridge 20 minutes prior to serving so that it's not super cold.