Cooking and Baking

How far ahead can I make a vinaigrette based pasta salad?

When I usually make a pasta salad, we eat it within a couple of hours or so. However, I'd like to make one for a large BBQ we're having tomorrow evening. Problem is I'll have 3 briskets and two pork butts in the smoker all day (from in the wee hours of the AM) and a plethora of other tasks, including some setting up of tables, chairs, etc.

What I don't want is a bowl of soggy, bloated pasta decorated with darkened limp vegetables floating in a sea of basil vinaigrette. Do you think I can cook the pasta today, just moisten it with a bit of the dressing and chill it until tomorrow? I can chop all the other ingredients separately and chill until a few hours before serving before combining all. But I want the flavors to meld, but not look like a bowl of leftovers.

Thanks!


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