Some time ago, there was a small café in Newport, RI, called Cappuccino’s. It seemed that I enjoyed their pasta salad for days on end and eventually deconstructed it to develop a similar recipe. This has become a summertime favorite in my family. We’ve already made it twice this spring.
Cappuccino’s signature pasta was a curvy twist. Our preference is Cestini or Ruote (also known as Wagon Wheels). Another favorite is Radiatore. In a pinch, I’ll select Ditali Rigati or even Tortiglioni.
As recipes go, this one lacking in specifics. A little more or a little less of each ingredient will be fine! You’ll be busy chopping so this is a great recipe when you have an extra pair of helping hands. My daughters are a big help for this recipe!
You’ll need to have a very large pasta bowl for this abundance of goodness!
1 package of Pasta, 500 grams
½ C + Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, such as Cutrera Primo DOP,
½ – ¾ C DeCarlo Sun Kissed Tomatoes, or sliced sun dried tomatoes
1-2 C fresh broccoli flowerettes, microwaved for 2 minutes to bright green, with a nice bite
1 Red, Yellow, or Orange Bell Pepper, diced
½ C chopped olives, try Taggiasca Olives from our Savory Pantry or your favorites
1 C cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ C celery, chopped
2 scallions/green onions, chopped
½ – ¾ C canned garbanzo beans, drained
6 slices cooked bacon (or pancetta!), crumbled
¼ C basil leaves, slivered
1-2 fresh lemons, juiced (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
Other seasonings to taste
*Good Quality Mayo
Fill an 8-Qt pot with water and heat to boiling. Begin chopping vegetables! Add pasta. While pasta is cooking, microwave the broccoli and cook the bacon. If you are really fast you can get all of the chopping done before the pasta has cooked. Drain the pasta while still al dente and rinse to cool the pasta.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Add more olive oil as needed. If you like your salad to be a bit creamy, stir in mayo. Chill before serving.