Aggie's Kitchen

Surprise! Welcoming a new Pea to the Pod…

pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, olives, red onions, and broccoli in a bowl

Don’t get all crazy now…that Pea does not belong to me. I know my mom and mom-in-law just got all kinds of excited. They probably aren’t even reading the rest of this right now…


Baby Shower announcement

That Pea belongs to a special someone else…someone a group of food blogger buddies are virtually celebrating today with a surprise Baby Shower….SURPRISE Maria!!  Are you feeling the Love?

For those of you who don’t know….Maria and her sweet husband Josh are expecting their 1st baby, a baby boy, and he’s due next month…just around the corner!


Some of you may already know Maria from her delicious blog Two Peas and Their Pod. Maria and I have been friends pretty much since we both started blogging….around the same time in 2008. I love this girl. I have been lucky to have been able to visit with her the last two summers in her part of the country, Salt Lake City, and can’t wait till the next time we have the opportunity to spend time again. Her and Josh are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and I’m just over the moon excited to see them as parents. Don’t get me all teary now…I just love babies.

Let’s talk about this party instead. And with this party comes lots of cute stuff…and lots of good food.

pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, olives, red onions, and broccoli in a bowl

I decided to bring something I always look for at a party…a good pasta salad. I’ve been making this Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette forever and it has always been a hit at get-togethers. What’s special about this salad is the dressing…oh how I love this dressing. It’s simple, its fresh and it goes perfectly with pasta and fresh veggies.

I make this pasta with whole wheat rotini, fresh veggies and chickpeas. The dressing is a perfect blend of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, dijon and lots of fresh basil. Yep…the basil is what makes this dressing so good.

pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, olives, red onions, and broccoli in a bowl and on a plate with a fork

Enjoy this Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette recipe and all the other crafts and yummy food from the rest of the gang! Stop by and say hi to them and of course Maria!

pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, olives, red onions, and broccoli on a plate with a fork


Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette

  • Author: Aggie's Kitchen
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop


  • 1 box whole wheat rotini pasta (whole wheat is totally optional)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets, cut in small florets
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 cup black or kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (I prefer Bush’s Beans garbanzos)
  • good pinch of course salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

    For Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • good pinch of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • big handful of fresh basil leaves


  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Place broccoli florets in a colander. When pasta is ready to drain pour over broccoli florets. Drain well and put in large bowl. Set aside and let cool.
  3. In the meantime, make your dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Process ingredients for about 30 seconds until well blended and emulsified.
  4. Add 1/4 of dressing to pasta and broccoli and gently toss. Once combined add the tomatoes, onions, beans and olives to pasta salad along with more dressing. Do not use all of dressing, save some for right before serving because pasta salad will soak up most of dressing and may dry out a bit. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Add additional dressing as desired and gently toss salad before serving. Taste for salt and pepper, I usually add a good pinch of both before serving. Serve with bowl of grated Parmesan cheese for garnish.

Maria and Josh…we love you guys and are so looking forward to meeting the third Pea!! Congratulations and Best Wishes!! xoxo



Wenderly – Handmade Sweet Pea Cards

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Food for My Family – Lemongrass Soda

Heather’s Dish – Mixed Fruit Punch

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Georgia Pelligrini – Watermelon Aqua Fresca



With Style and Grace – Truffle Popcorn

Family Fresh Cooking – Baby Peas & Cheese Frittata

Barbara Bakes – Creamy Orange Fruit Dip and Fruit

Reluctant Entertainer – Nutella Berry Bruschetta



Dorie Greenspan – French Lemon Cream Tart

TidyMom – Blue and Chocolate Cake Balls

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Brown Eyed Baker – Pavlova

Picky Palate – Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich

What’s Gaby Cooking – Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Cookin’ Canuck – Nutella & Cream Cheese Swirled Blondies

Kevin and Amanda – Baby Blue Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cups

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Sweetapolita – Little Pea Sugar Cookie Pops

Bake at 350 – Petit Fours with fondant pea pods

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Add a Pinch – Blackberry Tartlets

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Vintage Mixer – Mint Chocolate Pudding Shots

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65 comments on “Surprise! Welcoming a new Pea to the Pod…”

  1. Pingback: Traditional Pavlova Recipe | Brown Eyed Baker

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  6. Lovely recipe! And congrats to Maria & Josh!

  7. Very exciting news! I’m past the having them stage myself but sure would love to have grandchildren appear on the scene….sigh, I love babies! Congrats to Maria & Josh!

  8. Congrats to Maria & Josh. But, Aggie you almost gave me a heart attack!! LOL Love the recipe. Definitely going to try out that dressing on my next pasta salad.

  9. This is so cool! Congratulations Maria and Josh! 🙂 Yay!

  10. What a cute idea! Im so happy for maria and josh- they are going to be fantastic parents

  11. Yummmm, This is looking reallllly good, for breakfast! =)

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  15. What a nice thing for everyone to do for Josh and Maria! So thoughtful! Pasta salad look great too 🙂

  16. Pasta salad is an awesome dish to serve at a baby shower! I just know Maria and Josh will be blessed today. They are just the best! Thanks for sharing, Aggie!

  17. Pingback: Creamy Orange Fruit Dip | Barbara Bakes

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  19. Pasta salad is perfect for any party. I need a good dressing recipe. Thanks for sharing it. Next time you make it to Salt Lake we’ll finally get to meet too.

  20. great looking pasta salad! Love all of your pictures!

  21. You’re too funny! I’m sure my parents would feel the same way. In fact, I’m having a little baby pea envy right now. I love babies……..your pasta salad looks great!

  22. Such beautiful photos and what a lovely pasta salad!

  23. I just love this! Huuuuge congrats to Maria, darling! My virtual wishes are morphing through the screen RIGHT NOW! xoxoxo!

  24. Pingback: Baby Button Cookies |

  25. Those pictures made me miss you! Thanks so much for participating in my shower! What a fun surprise! I love the pasta salad-perfect for my shower:) You are the best! Please come visit the little pea soon:) Miss you! xoxo

  26. Pingback: Gummy Worm Mud Cups | RecipeBoy

  27. Such a healthy salad – and you crack me up. I’m sure your mom is slowly coming up off the floor now 🙂

  28. I would be so happy to sit myself down in front of a bowl of that pasta salad. It looks wonderful, Aggie!

  29. I too love a great pasta salad at parties. I can’t wait to give yours a try! Congrats to Maria & her hubby (I love their blog)!

  30. That looks amazing! I cannot wait to try it.

  31. I always look for a pasta salad to! I love a vinegar based dressing instead of a mayo based one, it’s much lighter and you don’t have to worry about it sitting out on the counter for a few hours. All it needs is a good stir every once in a while and it’s good to go!

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  33. I love pasta salad! This dressing looks great. And what a great idea to have a virtual baby shower!

  34. Great to see you again. We met briefly at the photography class. Your pasta salad looks especially good! Now I’m really needing some lunch after looking at all of these shower recipes!!

  35. Yum! Love a good pasta salad like this one with lots of great flavors and colors.

  36. I was wondering how many “servings” this makes? I’m trying to decide if I’ll need to double or triple the recipe. I’ll be making it for a labor day party this weekend. Thanks!

    • Hi Lindsey! I would have to say this would make 8-10 servings about the size of what I show on the plate. It makes a good amount, but will depend on how many people and how much food you are serving.

      • Wow! I made this for a big group trip to Lake Powell and it was a hit! It travelled well and the dressing soaked in to the pasta over the two days we were there, making it better with time 🙂 I will be making this for our business launch in January. Thank you again for sharing this recipe!

        • Thanks Lindsey!! I know what you mean about the dressing soaking into the pasta…always better the next day! 🙂 Thanks so much for the feedback, glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  37. Pingback: Watermelon Agua Fresca & A New Pea | The Official Site of Chef Georgia Pellegrini | Food, Travel, Lifestyle, Hunting and Redefining Slow Food

  38. Aggie I LOVE the looks of your go-to party pasta salad (wish I had it for dinner tonight.) Soooo glad you participated in this special online baby shower for the baby pea. Such a sweet post & I love all the photos 🙂 xo

  39. This looks delicious and healthy! I may have to add it to my Labor Day menu!

  40. Awe Aggie, what fun! The pasta salad looks great and congratulations to Maria and Josh!

  41. Oh, yes please!!! That looks terrific!

  42. Awww, I love this post – what a cute idea! And what a yummy recipe, too!

  43. Pingback: How To: Make a Diaper Cake Centerpiece » Dentists in LA

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  46. I love that you added dijon and balsamic vinegar to this salad. It’s really beautiful, Aggie! Congratulations to Maria and Josh!

  47. Terrific choice= I always look for the pasta salad at parties too!

  48. Very sweet and quite the spread! best wishes to the Mom and Dad to-be

  49. What a delicious looking pasta salad! I love the dressing combo or balsamic and dijon:)

  50. What a great post, Aggie! I’m definitely going to make this dish – it’s all my favorite ingredients! bookmarking it now

  51. Hi Aggie-

    First off congrats on your new arrival and second, I love your blog! I recently started cooking and decided to start a blog as well. I live in NYC and my blog is called “Cookin’ with the Kaptain”

    Take a look and let me know what you think! Thanks – KK

  52. I love that you guys did this as a surprise. What a delicious shower!

  53. your salad looks wonderful!I’m gonna try it soon!

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