Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions, in well salted water. Drain and rinse until cold running water until chilled. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. You can also refrigerate the pasta for 1-2 hours to chill it (make sure to toss with olive oil first).
Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the shallot, lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup fresh basil, white wine vinegar, honey, coarse salt and lemon zest in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Let sit for at least 15 minute while you prepare the veggies.
Prepare the cucumber, bell pepper and tomatoes. Toss with the chilled pasta, mozzarella pearls and the vinaigrette.
Toss with the remaining ¼ cup fresh basil. Serve topped with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a crack of freshly ground black pepper.
Rotini pasta is my go-to but any medium pasta shape works. You can use protein pasta, whole wheat pasta or gluten-free pasta.
Make in advance: You can make the salad 24 hours in advance. You can also make the pasta in advance and prep the remaining ingredients the next day.
Leftovers: For best quality keep covered and refrigerated for 3-4 days. Enjoy cold.