Pasta Salad With Feta, Sun-dried Tomato & SpinachJun 22nd, 2011 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Cheese, Featured, Greek, Herbs, Olive Oil, Pasta, Quick, Salad, Side, Vegetarian
Pasta salads are hit and miss….usally more miss. The reasons why a pasta salad may flop could be too much fat (usually mayonaisse), too much acid, the pasta is tossed while still warm or hot, pasta is under-seasoned or simply no flavour. I created this pasta salad with an eye on flavour and the other on keeping it healthy and flavourful.
When making pasta salads, this is the one time that you should rinse your pasta salad until cooled. Season the pasta water well then rinse quickly under cold water and strain. The goal here is to have firm pasta and to not have the warm pasta discolour your herbs. No one likes a brown pasta salad.
I chose farfalle as my pasta of choice but I think penne would work here as well. Pasta salads beg for fresh herbs – use what’s in your garden…I used fresh basil and oregano in this instance. I side-stepped mayo and chose healthy full-fat yogurt. It’s fat content is still nowhere near what cream has, it’s more flavourful than those reduced-fat yogurts and besides…the fat from the milk waas mechanically removed. Go full fat baby!
There’s some shredded carrot for some sweetness and colour, a diced pickle, sun-dried tomatoes and briny Greek Feta cheese. Don’t forget baby spinach, scallions and chives, oregano & basil, wine vinegar and Greek extra-virgin olive oil! Add all the ingredients then check/adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. This will be the pasta salad they’ll talk about at the pot luck, BBQ or picnic – enjoy!
Pasta Salad With Feta & Sun-dried Tomato & Spinach
1 1/2 cups of farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 cup baby spinach, rinsed and pat-dry
8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1 cup of grated carrot
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 dill pickle, diced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup of diced Feta cheese
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
chopped chives for garnish
- Place a large pot of water on your stove-top and bring to a boil. Add a good amount of salt and cook according to instructions then quickly rinse under cold water and strain well.
- In the meantime, chop, slice and dice your ingredients and add into a large bowl (except the olive oil, vinegar and yogurt). Add the pasta into the bowl and gently toss. Now mix the olive oil, yogurt and vinegar in a small bowl then add to the pasta salad and stir in along with the chopped fresh herbs and cubes of Feta.
- Now have a taste and adjust seasoning. Serve room temperature or chilled with chopped chives for garnish.
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© 2011, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved.