Caesar Pasta Salad

It’s the season of backyard BBQ side dishes…and if you’re sick of the old favorites I’ve got a new one for you to try.  I love this dish because it combines the best thing in the world (pasta) with bright crunchy vegetables to create a healthy AND great tasting side option.  I also use a homemade Caesar dressing which takes this recipe to a whole new level…for the billionth time, if you’re buying store bought dressing you’re doing it all wrong.  Homemade is so much better, and cheaper!  Here’s what you need to make this great dish come together.

For the Salad

  • 8 oz Rotini (corkscrew) pasta
  • 2 large romaine hearts
  • 14 oz can black olives
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup Shaved Parmesan

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Mayo
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp Anchovy Paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Grated Parmesan
  • LOTS of fresh ground pepper

Prepare the noodles according to the package instructions (don’t forget to salt that water!).  Cut the romaine hearts and cucumber into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl.  Add the olives and set aside.  Once the pasta is done, rinse under cold water and drain well.  Add pasta to the bowl.

In another bowl, add all of the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together vigorously.  Two things to mention here, first is that you MUST use the anchovy paste.  You will just need to trust me that you won’t be able to taste anchovies in the final product.  Also, use ALL the pepper…so much pepper…the more pepper the better.  Taste the dressing and adjust as necessary.

Add the dressing to the salad and mix well.  Top with the shaved Parmesan and more fresh ground pepper.


You can also add grilled chicken and make it a main course.  I’ve done it.  It’s so good.

Cheers to backyard BBQ’s and all things summer…also, it’s already August?