This Italian inspired pasta salad was a dish I put together for my best friend's Annual Friendsmas party this year. It came out perfect, and by perfect I mean full of flavor and delicious. One bite and you’ll know what I mean. The flavors from the basil mingling with the texture of the walnuts and the richness of sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes and the freshness from the spinach.. This is perfection. You will want more and more. Just look at all the goodness that’s going into this one pasta salad. Knowing a really good pasta salad recipe is very important. I think that this is going to be your new favorite pasta salad recipe. It's very easy to make. The only thing you need to cook is the pasta. You can absolutely make it ahead of time which means it’s the perfect pasta salad to make for all your gatherings.
1 pound Penne Rigate or any small pasta
1 (14 oz) can of Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
1 (6 oz) can of Spanish Black Olives, drained and chopped
1/4 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Oil, chopped
1/2 cup Spinach Leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Basil Leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
15 basil leaves
1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons Country Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup water
Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a food processor, blend together all ingredients for the dressing.
Once the pasta is cool, give it a quick rinse under cold water so the pasta don’t stick together; drain it well, and add it to a bowl.
Add the artichoke hearts, spinach leaves, basil leaves, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Add the dressing and gently toss well to combine.
Before serving, add walnuts and a sprinkle of parmesan and toss well & enjoy! (Can prepare ahead of time, just skip this step until ready to serve.)
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #EATDRINKPLAYLA. I'd love to see how yours turned out!