Hearty Pasta Salad

Here’s a pasta salad that’s guaranteed to please and go the distance. Adding some of the fall’s hearty veggies will beef this dish when tossed with a tasty pasta. The addition of fresh basil in this naturally creamy pasta adds perfume and depth.

Serves 8-10


  • 1 pound box of whole wheat pasta (ziti or penne), uncooked
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 small head purple cabbage, chopped  
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt (plus more for boiling)
  • Water for boiling 


  1. In a large stockpot, bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. 
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. 
  3. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for one minute. 
  4. Add the mushrooms, cabbage, and salt to the pan and allow them to cook for about five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Reserve one cup of the pasta water. Then drain the pasta and set aside.
  6. Add the pasta to the skillet and stir to combine. 
  7. Add the pasta water, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and simmer for thirty seconds.
  8. Add the basil and the parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

© 2024 North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

For our disclaimer, liability, and contact information click here