Farfalle Pasta Salad with Cannellini Beans

I had a fondue party a few days ago. It was a delightful evening filled with youtube videos, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, and lots of cheese. Sounds like a hot and crazy night, right? ;) Have you ever eaten fondue? It's one of those foods (or meals, I guess) that makes me feel like I'm back in the 1970s. I don't really know why, but I want to put on my disco shoes and paint the town red.

As usual, I went a little crazy and thought of every possible dipping food we could use. I had bread cubes and apples, veggies and pretzels, melty cheese and those cute little fondue sticks, The Village People and Earth, Wind, and Fire. It was a cheesy evening (che-vening?) that will live on in infamy.

I could totally just hear Morgan Freeman narrating that...

Anyway, after that deliciously heavy dining extravaganza, I was craving something a bit more fresh. One of my favorite summer foods (even though I probably have a million "favorite summer foods") would have to be pasta salad. It's cold, quick, and full of summer's bountiful and delicious vegetables.

I made this salad by basically just rooting through the kitchen (as I usually do). It all started with a gorgeous bag of stipey red and green farfalle.

My "inner designer" wanted to bring out the vibrant red in the pasta, so I added cherry tomatoes. I also added white beans because my "inner old lady" thought the added fiber and protein would take it from a side dish to a meal. My "inner Ina Garten" threw in a tasty homemade vinaigrette, and this pasta salad was born!

I might need to see a doctor about all of these inner selves.

I was so impressed by how easy and flavorful this dish was. It would pair excellently with grilled chicken or fish, but it's also substantial enough to eat alone.

Last Year: Shish Kabobs

Farfalle Pasta Salad with Cannellini Beans

Serves 4


  • 9 oz. farfalle pasta
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans (also called white beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup Italian Pesto dressing (recipe below, or you can use your own Italian dressing)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place cooled pasta in a large bowl.

2. To the pasta add sliced tomatoes, cannellini beans, dressing (I went light on the dressing, but you can always add more if you like), salt and pepper. Mix well. Pasta salad may be served immediately, but it tastes better if it has at least an hour to marinate in the fridge. Store leftovers in fridge for up to 5 days.

Italian Pesto Dressing

Makes 3/4 cup


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 to 2-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pesto (I used jarred, but homemade works too!)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pepper (I like more pepper)
  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)


1. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Whisk vigorously. Chill throughly. Shake before serving.

Italian Dressing adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook