Sun Dried Tomatoes are the star of this fresh and delicious pasta salad. Kalamata olives, toasted pine nuts, fresh spinach, basil and feta cheese are an impressive supporting cast for this meatless hearty salad or tasty side.
Mediterranean salads never seem to disappoint especially with the addition of a simple pasta. This salad is drizzled with a bright balsamic vinaigrette then tossed with fresh spinach and basil leaves just before serving. A good flavored olive oil will also add an impressive layer and be sure to use a great-quality feta cheese for superior creaminess.
Our Sun Dried Tomatoes with Mezzi Rigatoni and Feta can be made ahead but wait to add the spinach, basil and feta until just before serving. It’s still very good the next day but may need to be tossed with a little more olive oil to freshen the pasta.
Sun dried tomatoes are always a great addition to pasta dishes, sandwiches and wraps and even breakfast casseroles.
This recipes uses oil packed tomatoes and a little bit of the flavored oil for the dressing. Don’t skimp on the fresh ground black pepper!
And finally, don’t forget to PIN this recipe for Sun Dried Tomatoes with Mezzi Rigatoni and Feta!
- 16 ounce box of Mezzi Rigatoni Pasta
- 1 6.7 ounce jar of sun dried tomatoes, drained then chopped, with oil reserved (we used Delallo)
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned plus extra small leaves for garnish
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 ounces feta cheese, broken into large chunks
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vineagar
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return to the cooking pot. Toss the pasta with 2 tablespoons of the reserved sun dried tomato oil. Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped sun dried tomatoes, olives, basil, pine nuts, and spinach. Add the cooled rigatoni and toss.
- In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the reserved sun dried tomato oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss to coat.
- Garnish with additional small basil leaves, fresh ground black pepper and the feta cheese.
- Serve immediately
- The salad may be made ahead but wait until just before serving to add the feta, spinach and basil.
- Freshen leftovers with a little extra olive oil
We’re still enjoying our company from Tennessee, embracing the rich history of the area, spending plenty of time laughing, and enjoying some wonderful food of course! I hope you’re having a great week staying cool and not working too hard. Thanks so much for stopping by!