Friday, March 20, 2015

Whole Wheat Mediterranean Pasta Salad

We've been grilling it up over here quite a bit lately.  We received a really nice BBQ as a house warming present when we moved into our new casa last September, and I'm embarrassed to say that we just started using it recently.  You guys, where have I been?!?  It's so convenient to grill up chicken, steak, and even veggies with virtually no clean up afterwards - count me in as a BBQ convert!

Now that the weather is starting to warm up for most of you, I thought I'd share this delicious, and healthy whole wheat Mediterranean pasta salad that I threw together over the weekend.  Unlike most pasta salads, you won't find any fattening mayo in this salad.  What I did use was an abundance of fresh & healthy ingredients; whole wheat noodles, baby spinach + arugula {I love the spiciness in arugula!}, sun dried tomatoes {you could always sub these out for grape tomatoes if desired}, artichokes, capers, olive oil & balsamic vinegar, and fresh basil to name a few.  The result was SO good!  This makes the perfect side dish to accompany grilled chicken, but also has enough flavor to serve on it's own.

Hope you enjoy!


3 cups dry uncooked whole wheat pasta noodles {I used fusilli noodles}
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar**
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cup arugula
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced into bite size chunks {if using sun tomatoes in oil, be sure to blot off excess oil with a paper towel}
2 tbsp. capers, drained
3/4 cup quartered artichokes, chopped
1/4 cup olives, sliced {any kind of olives you prefer}
1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese {I used a potato peeler to thinly shave off slices of the cheese}
Freshly torn basil for garnish

**  I've made this pasta salad twice, the first time with white balsamic vinegar & the second time {as photographed} with regular balsamic vinegar.  The white balsamic vinegar is is a little lighter, and if you choose to use this I would suggest adding the juice of 1/2 a lemon into the pasta salad as well to brighten it up a little more. **


Prepare pasta noodles according to manufacturers suggestions.  

Once your pasta is cooked & drained transfer to a large bowl.  Add in the olive oil, vinegar, and salt & pepper to taste and stir well to combine.

Next, fold in the spinach, arugula, tomatoes, capers, artichokes, and olives.  Gently toss.

Just before serving, finish with the Parmesan cheese & fresh basil for garnish.

I hope you have a great weekend!  xx



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