Pasta salads are perfect warm-weather dishes. You don’t have to turn the oven on, and they make great leftovers for lunches and weeknight dinners. This pasta salad has both Greek and Italian influences, and you could easily change up the ingredients to your liking – using mozzarella or goat cheese in lieu of the feta, or tossing with different vegetables, such as artichokes or roasted red peppers. Jeff gobbled up this dish – and so did I! We loved it so much we made it twice in two weeks. As always, be sure to use the best quality ingredients you can find. I chose a pasture-raised hard salami, organic whole wheat pasta and organic vegetables. Feel free to increase or decrease the measurements below to your liking as well. This salad is not a science!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 1/2 lbs. whole wheat pasta of your choosing, cooked according to package directions (penne works well. I used a large spiral pasta)
- 5-6 oz. good quality hard salami (or pepperoni), casing removed and cut into small chunks
- 4 oz. feta cheese (I use a French sheep’s milk variety), cubed or crumbled
- 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
- 1/3 C red onion, small dice
- 1/3 C cucumber (I usually buy the English variety), sliced and quartered
- 15 grape tomatoes, halved
- fresh parsley
- 2/3 C extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1/3 C fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 t. dried parsley
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1 t. minced garlic
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small bowl (or a salad dressing bottle), whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss the salad with about 1/2 cup of dressing and refrigerate for an hour up to overnight.
Toss with another 1/2 cup (or more or less, depending on how much dressing the pasta absorbed overnight) of dressing before serving.