Pasta Salad with Tomatoes From the American Institute for Cancer Research


In their ongoing effort to promote cancer-preventive lifestyle choices, the American Institute for Cancer Research and author Dana Jacobi work together to create delicious and health-conscious dishes that includes the following, pasta salad with tomatoes.

The AICR writes:

Few things pair more perfectly than pasta and tomatoes and few dishes capture the feeling of summer better than cool pasta salad. Best of all, along with its great taste, pasta salad with tomatoes has good nutritional value. The whole-wheat pasta provides a healthy base for the dish, while the balsamic vinegar with its tart flavor gives the dish a crisp taste.

The combination of vinegar, sugar and peppers creates a flavor that is exceptionally pleasant. This fusion enables you to avoid the fat in mixtures like mayonnaise without sacrificing flavor. You can experiment with the red pepper to find the level of zesty bite that appeals to your taste.

The recipe calls for Roma tomatoes, though any variety will do. Roma tomatoes, also known as Italian or Italian plum tomatoes, are pear or egg shaped tomatoes that are meatier and have fewer seeds, so they are good for pasta salads. Tomatoes contain the cancer protective, red pigment called lycopene. The green pepper, abundant in vitamin C, also provides color and its flavor combines well with the tomatoes.

Don't forget, each and every recipe offered by the AICR has been vetted and approved by a registered dietitian (RD).

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes

  • 8 oz. whole-wheat fusilli, farfalle or other small pasta shape, cooked according to directions
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (red or white)
  • 4 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1 tsp. turbinado sugar, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 plum or Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread (multigrain may be substituted)


In bowl, cover and chill pasta.

In large mixing bowl, combine vinegar, 2 tablespoons basil, sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper, 2 tablespoons oil and half of minced garlic. Whisk to combine well. Add pasta, bell pepper and tomatoes and toss gently until well coated.

In food processor or blender, place bread and pulse a few times to produce coarse crumbs. In a medium skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Stir in breadcrumbs and garlic. Sauté about 1½ - 2 minutes until browned and crisp. Remove from heat and let cool.

Top pasta with garlic crumbs and remaining basil. Serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 180 calories, 6 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 27 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 25 mg sodium.

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