On Line Cookbook

Pasta Shells with Tomatoes, Olives and Basil

Recipe Information
C. J.

Serves/Makes: 6

  • 1/2 lb (.2 kg). dried small pasta shells
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml). white-wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml). vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (225 ml) pitted ripe black olives, cut crosswise into rings
  • 2 cups (475 ml) cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) thinly sliced scallion
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) shredded fresh basil leaves, or to taste
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml). fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • In a kettle of boiling salted water boil the pasta shells, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are tender.
  • Drain shells in a colander, and refresh them under cold water.
  • Drain the shells well again.
  • In a bowl toss them with the vinegar and oil.
  • Add the olives, tomatoes, bell pepper, celery, scallion, and basil.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp (30 ml). water.
  • Pour the dressing over the mixture, and toss the salad gently until it is combined.
  • Season the salad with salt and pepper and transfer it to a portable container.
  • Allow the salad to chill for at least a few hours before serving.
  • The salad may be made up to one day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
  • Just before serving toss the salad again.
This recipe came from Gourmet magazine years ago. I have served it many times at different functions and it's always a hit. I normally cut the scallions down to 1/4 cup, but that's just my preference. This is a cool, light refreshing salad - perfect for barbeques and picnics.