1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon after mincing)
cracked black pepper to taste
For the salad
1 (12 oz) box of tri-colored rotini pasta
2 cups of elbow macaroni pasta
1 english cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 fresh mint leaves
Whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing together. Allow the mixture to sit and the flavors infuse.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (4-6 quarts) then add in pasta. Cook for 7-8 minutes for al dente pasta. Drain the pasta in a colander and return to the pot with a tablespoon of the dressing to keep the noodles from sticking together. If you plan on rinsing the noodles with cold water to halt the cooking process allow the noodles to cook to your ideal tenderness. (al dente noodles will continue to cook if they remain hot, which is why you want them to be less tender)
While the pasta is cooking rinse and chop your veggies. Slice the bell peppers and chop them into inch long strips. Slice the zucchini and the cucumber into rounds, then cut one veggie into half moons and the other into quarters to differentiate.
Combine the vegetables with the pasta and salad dressing. Add the zest and juice of the lemon to the salad. Thinly slice the mint leaves with kitchen shears and add on top of the salad. Mix to combine and evenly coat.
Cover and refrigerate until serving.
You may want to make a second batch of the dressing if the salad is being served after the first day, the noodles will soak up most of the dressing overnight!