An assortment of flavourful ingredients come together to create a memorable salad that’s perfect on its own or as a side dish. MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD is delicious!
This recipe for MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD had me seeking out a variety of ingredients associated with some of the countries that border the Mediterranean – we wanted to offer something rustic in appearance that delivered on both the flavour and presentation fronts. I certainly think we accomplished both, plus an interesting last-minute recipe enhancement that works too.
As with all our posts, we suggest you PIN this to one of your Pinterest boards, and while you’re at it, why not BOOKMARK this page too? We’re confident you’ll be making our MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD over and over again.
Last thing before I review the highlights of this recipe is to point how versatile it is. We originally set out to add something to our ever-growing list of vegetarian options – we know that a number of you appreciate this – but to keep everyone happy, we’re also presenting the salad with an option to enhance it with tuna. The idea came to me while I was shooting the story, and you know me – never one to miss an opportunity.
Here are some key things to keep in mind:
PASTA – Although this salad is billed with pasta being the key ingredient, don’t go overboard. We think two cups of pasta is the quantity perfect. We also used squat TUBETTI noodles, the smaller bites blending well with everything else. As with all pasta recipes, cook your dry pasta in salted water to the directions on the package.
MARINATED VEGETABLES – We assembled an assortment of stellar marinated veggies for this salad and love the rich flavours they provide. We included sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, two types of olives, grilled garlic and capers. When prepping them, don’t stress about how to chop and dice them – a rough chop adds a rustic look to the completed dish.
FRESH VEGETABLES – Adding some fresh vegetables to your salad contributes yet another interesting layer of taste. We went with colourful vine-ripened tomatoes, zucchini, scallions and red onion, but additional fresh vegetables might include sweet peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, and peas – the more the merrier.
FRESH HERBS – Our addition of basil offers a welcome burst of fresh flavour but other herbs will work just as well. Feel free to add some chopped oregano, thyme, and flat-leaf parsley.
CHEESE – We wanted to include cheese in the salad and think Greek feta to be perfect. Crumbling this slightly salty cheese into the salad is quite heavenly. We also like mixing the ingredients for this salad together when the cooked pasta is still warm. The heat from the pasta melts the cheese a bit – yum!
DRESSING – We purposely did not whip up a custom dressing for this recipe, instead turning to one of our tried and true favorites, ITALIAN DRESSING. Head HERE to watch our 1-minute City Slicker video on how to make it. Not a bad idea to double the recipe so you can use it for this pasta salad and reserve the rest for another time.
TWO WAYS TO ENJOY – Carol and I spend a lot of time thinking about how you might best enjoy our recipes, tips, and ideas. For this post, we ended up adding a second way to enjoy it, especially for those looking to add a bit of carnivorous protein into the mix, by simply adding some canned tuna.
Whether you serve our MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD on its own or with tuna, prepare to be amazed – both versions are fabulous. If you’d like to serve it as a side dish, prepare smaller portions with our GRILLED VEGETABLE MEDLEY, ROAST CHICKEN or MIXED GRILL.
MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD – your next adventure in salad should be this amazing!
Enter your e-mail below and you’ll receive access to our monthly newsletters, member contests, exclusive-to-email photos and behind-the-scenes fun! Best of all, it’s FREE! We’d be so happy if you’d join our growing online community!