In my mind, a good pasta salad includes a range of colors and textures from a variety of vegetables and herbs. Getting a good selection of produce into a five-ingredient dish, while also allowing for vinaigrette components, is a challenge. The solution, I’ve found, is to raid the antipasti bar of the grocery store. I’ll pick up a pint container and fill it with any manner of vinaigrette-marinated vegetables — artichokes, peppers, olives and beans are all great choices. I make sure to scoop in a good amount of the vinaigrette as well, knowing that it’ll help form the base of the salad dressing.
Since marinated antipasti tends to be soft, I add diced bell pepper, which I sauté until it loses its raw edge but still has a bit of bite. A large handful of fresh parsley, along with the zest and juice of a lemon, adds a pop of color and bright flavor to the dish.