When many Americans (especially Midwesterners) hear “pasta salad”, they frequently think of some rich, slightly sweet salad with lots of mayonnaise, and maybe some cheese and boiled egg. This pasta salad is quite different. It is much more akin to a regular salad, with pasta instead of lettuce. While optional, I think that the fennel makes a very nice touch. Also, don’t skimp on the olives or the basil. And, because it’s vegan, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting food poisoning from eating your pasta salad that has been sitting out during a hot summer picnic.