This weekend was amazing – the perfect weather and the perfect mix of home improvement projects and plain old fun. The only thing that could make it better? A great big bowl of this tasty roasted garlic pasta salad!
I absolutely love pasta, and therefore pasta is often a side dish when we cook dinner. One of my favorite ways to incorporate noodles into a meal is in a pasta salad such as this one because it is super easy to make it and just throw it into the fridge and take it out to serve when ready. For dinner parties and company, it really is ideal because it’s one less thing to worry about while you’re guests are over!
I think tarragon is a totally underused herb. I mean, it has such a refreshing scent and a flavor that nicely complements many different types of meats and vegetables, without being too overpowering. I was excited to feature it in this pasta salad because it really gives a unique and subtle finish to the pasta dish. And how could you go wrong with roasted garlic, right?
I’m beginning to think that roasted garlic might permanently be “the thing to do” with garlic in any recipe. It adds such a beautiful and potent depth of flavor without too much extra work – just roasting the garlic in the oven for about 20 minutes before using.
This pasta salad is then finished off with crisp red pepper, crunchy bacon lardons, and a traditional creamy pasta salad sauce featuring mayonnaise and lemon juice. I love this recipe because for how simple it is to assemble, it really packs a punch in the flavor department!
What is your go-to pasta salad side dish recipe? Share with me by commenting below!
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 12 oz. orecchiette
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. tarragon, minced
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and cut into lardons
- ¼ cup parsley, minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place garlic cloves in a small oven safe bowl and cover with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a small piece of tin foil and roast garlic in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and run under cool water to stop the cooking process.
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, and tarragon. Once garlic has cooled slightly, remove from olive oil and finely mince. Add roasted garlic and about half the garlic-infused olive oil to mayonnaise sauce. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, red bell pepper, bacon lardons, parsley, and prepared mayonnaise sauce. Stir until all of the ingredients are coated with sauce. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy!
Looking for more delicious pasta salad recipes? Check out my recipe for Israeli Couscous Salad with Carrot and Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette:
And make sure you don’t miss a SINGLE pasta salad recipe!