Stay Cool this Spring with Pasta Salad

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By Alison Wickmann

Just because the cooler months are coming to a close, doesn’t mean your pasta eating days have to end as well.  Pasta salad creates a beautiful harmony of heartier elements, with a lighter feeling due to its temperature.  Perfect for those springtime evenings.

Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad

Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound box mini farfalle pasta (or your favorite shape)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup reduced sugar dried cranberries
  • 3 cups packed arugula
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup pine nuts

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Rinse and drain and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together pasta, olive oil, lemon juice, cranberries, and arugula until all the noodles are coated.
  3. Sprinkle in feta cheese and pine nuts and gently toss.

Inspired by Love and Zest.

 

Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta Salad

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • ½ small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • ½ cup halved pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese optional
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, and mustard. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Make the salad: Slice the zucchini halfway through lengthwise, being careful not to pierce through the center. Spiralize the zucchini with Blade C and put them in a large bowl.  Add the sliced onion, artichoke hearts, olives, chickpeas, feta (if using), spinach, and tomatoes to the bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod.

 

Spring Pasta Salad

Spring Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. of cooked farfalloni pasta, (or farfalle pasta better known as bow ties or butterflies) being careful not to overcook it, once cooked cool it off with cold water then place into a rimmed cookie sheet so that you can dab any excess water that might fall into the pasta “wings” with a paper towel.
  • ½ jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • ¼ bag of defrosted peas
  • 2 cups of sliced multi colored cherry tomatoes prepped for ten minutes in a good drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped basil so that the tomato juices and olive oil mingle together
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, (I prefer a more medium tip not the pencil thin ones) sliced in thirds and pre roasted or blanched for just a few minutes, cooked al dente with still a bite to it.
  • Zucchini ribbons done with a vegetable peeler, turning it while peeling it being careful not to reach the seeds (use small zucchini)
  • 1 or 2 handfuls of arugula, depending on your liking
  • Fresh basil or parsley
  • DRESSING:
  • 1 part white balsamic vinegar to 3 parts olive oil with a touch of dijon mustard to thicken it up, just whisk everything together adding salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Take a big bowl and place all your ingredients into it, spooning the dressing in little by little and adding salt and pepper to taste and being nice and gentle tossing it.
  2. Then place it all onto a pretty platter adding more zucchini ribbons, peas, artichoke hearts or whatever else to make it look balanced with the veggies.
  3. Spoon more dressing if desired.

Inspired by Proud Italian Cook.

 

Herby Spring Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Herby Spring Pasta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces rotini pasta (see notes)
  • 1 ½ cups asparagus – 1 inch segments
  • 1 cups peas (frozen or fresh)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup celery, diced small
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mint, minced

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium sauce pot with water and a heavy pinch of salt to a rapid boil. Cook the pasta to the al dente package instructions (do not overcook).  One minute prior to draining add in the asparagus and peas.  Drain, rinse with cold water until the pasta is cooled and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Add the cooked pasta, asparagus and peas to a large mixing bowl. Then add in the celery, green onions, dill, parsley, mint and lemon vinaigrette and toss gently until the salad is well combined.
  4. Serve or refrigerate (for up to 24 hours) before serving.

Notes

I used a rice-based gluten-free rotini, but any gluten-free or non gluten-free pasta option will work in this recipe.  Penne, fusilli and elbow macaroni are all great choices.

Inspired by With Food and Love.

 

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