Dad's Simple Pasta Salad

August 26, 2022 | Recipes ยท Supporting Kansas

August is National Farmers' Market Month and August 7-13 was National Farmers' Market Week The staff at the Kansas Department of Agriculture participated in a cookoff and created dishes using produce that was grown in Kansas.

Secretary Beam was our judge and deemed "Dad's Simple Pasta Salad" made by Suzanne Ryan-Numrich in first place.


  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1-pound short cut pasta, such as fusilli
  • 1 ½ cups basil pesto
  • 1 ½ cups cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper sliced
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives pitted
  • ½ cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained (oil reserved) and sliced
  • ¼ cup pickled pepperoncini, drained and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ripe but firm nectarine, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 12 sliced pepperoni chopped
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds, tossed
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the packaged directions. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl
  2. While the pasta is hot, add the pesto, cheddar cheese and broccoli. Toss well to combine.
  3. Add the bell pepper, olives, sun-drained tomatoes, basil pepperoni and sunflower seeds and toss to combine.
  4. Drizzle the reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes over the pasta and season with salt and pepper
  5. Serve warm or cold