Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe

by Valerie Gray, From Val's Kitchen

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This Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe combines multiple distinct flavors into one salad with a unique taste. This is a robust salad that works equally well as a side dish or main course.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This salad packs a lot of interesting flavors into each bite. From the peppery taste of fresh arugula to the salty appeal of Kalamata olives, preserved lemons and feta cheese, there is nothing bland or boring about this dish. Yet, its strong flavors aren’t overwhelming because they are tempered by the satisfying addition of penne pasta and fresh herbs. This robust salad has enough presence to serve as a light, yet satisfying, main course – or it can act as the perfect complement to more neutral dishes, like grilled chicken breast or a mild white fish.

Tip – You can use fresh or preserved lemons to make this recipe. I recommend trying the preserved lemons because they add more intense flavor. You can either buy a container of preserved lemons or easily make your own with Himalayan salt blocks. A word of caution, however, if you use preserved lemons, taste before adding additional salt.

Equipment Needed


Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to the package instructions and cooled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.
  • 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, washed and chopped, seeds and excess liquid removed
  • 12-15 large fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and cut into thin strips
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, stems removed and chopped
    ½ cup Kalamata olives
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh or preserved organic lemon, chopped into small chunks with rinds
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 oz. block feta cheese, cut into equal sized chunks

Vinaigrette

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe

Instructions

To make the vinaigrette, place the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard into a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Add the olive oil and garlic to a cold pan and set the heat to medium high. Sauté for approximately 2 minutes before adding in the chopped tomato. Cook for 3 minutes or until the tomato softens. Remove from heat.

Place the cooked tomato and garlic mixture with the basil, oregano, olives, red onion and preserved lemons into a large mixing bowl and combine. Add the cooked pasta, arugula and both types of cheese. Finally, add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • Pasta Salad
  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to the package instructions and cooled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.
  • 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, washed and chopped, seeds and excess liquid removed
  • 12-15 large fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and cut into thin strips
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, stems removed and chopped
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh or preserved organic lemon, chopped into small chunks with rinds
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 oz. block feta cheese, cut into equal sized chunks
  • Vinaigrette
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

To make the vinaigrette, place the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard into a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Add the olive oil and garlic to a cold pan and set the heat to medium high. Sauté for approximately 2 minutes before adding in the chopped tomato. Cook for 3 minutes or until the tomato softens. Remove from heat. Place the cooked tomato and garlic mixture with the basil, oregano, olives, red onion and preserved lemons into a large mixing bowl and combine. Add the cooked pasta, arugula and both types of cheese. Finally, add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe and love it?

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13 comments

Claudia Lamascolo September 29, 2018 - 7:50 am

what a perfect side dish for any meal. I know my family would love this as a regular meal with just some Italian bread yum!

Reply
Mahy Elamin September 29, 2018 - 12:25 pm

This recipe looks super easy and full of ingredients my family loves. Looking forward to trying soon.

Reply
Gloria September 29, 2018 - 12:49 pm

Well I am a pasta lover, so this is right up my alley. Love salad too. I could for sure make a meal out of this. Perfect to take to lunch as well.

Reply
Dan Zehr September 29, 2018 - 1:19 pm

Wow, what a beautiful presentation. I would like to try this salad for lunch. I like the combination of ingredients. Easy and tasty. This is great for me. Thank you!

Reply
Veena Azmanov September 29, 2018 - 6:29 pm

I love pasta for salad and in winter we love a nice warm pasta salad. Like the flavors, you have in this Mediterranean dish. Can’t wait to try.

Reply
Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites September 29, 2018 - 6:35 pm

I need to make a big batch of this for my weekly lunches – I love these flavors!

Reply
pat. September 30, 2018 - 10:57 am

A great nain or side idea.

Reply
Jenni LeBaron September 30, 2018 - 12:26 pm

I know it’s morning and I should be craving some eggs and bacon, but I’m totally craving this Mediterranean pasta salad instead. I love the flavors you’ve added to this. It looks fantastic for a packable lunch or to bring to a gathering.

Reply
Catalina September 30, 2018 - 1:09 pm

I love Mediterranean flavors! Making a pasta salad with these flavors is such a great idea!

Reply
Marisa Franca September 30, 2018 - 4:08 pm

I am a huge pasta lover whether it is hot or cold. And the Mediterranean ingredients you use in the salad are just the type we enjoy. In combination this makes one terrific pasta salad.

Reply
Tammy September 30, 2018 - 6:40 pm

Such a perfectly simple yet delicious meal! This looks so good..I love a Mediterranean salad 😀

Reply
Swathi September 30, 2018 - 7:19 pm

This perfect pasta salad, it is wonderful flavors to great with a bowl of soup or bread. Love that we can serve them hot or cold.

Reply
Michelle September 30, 2018 - 11:36 pm

What a perfect side! I love all the fresh ingredients in this recipe 🙂

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