Even though it is turning cold outside we wanted a hearty salad for dinner last night. I checked the contents of my fridge/pantry and this is what I created.
This is an Italian spinach pasta salad that will add some color to your table and make your taste buds spring back to life. The flavors are intense enough to give this salad just what it needs to become your new favorite. That is what happened for us last night anyway as we dug into second helpings of our dinner. You can look at the ingredient list and get a pretty good idea for the huge flavor in this one. Italian, a little tart, a little briny, and a lot of zing!
Don’t be intimidated by the longer ingredient list for this salad–I promise, you will have it on the table in 30 minutes or less! Give it a go and see how it wakes up your dinner plate!
Cheers to eating well and loving every bite!
Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a picture of our stray Quattro! Isn’t she beautiful?
Italian spinach pasta salad
- 1 – 8 oz box gluten free noodles, cooked al dente according to the package directions. I used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Rotelle
- 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
- 2/3 c black olives, sliced into thirds
- 1 c artichoke hearts in water, sliced in half
- 1 – 14 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1-2 T Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 c EVOO
- 2 T fresh thyme or 2 t dried thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 c freshly grated, aged Parmesan cheese, optional
Mix together the EVOO, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, onion and let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes at room temp while you prep the other ingredients.
Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach and cheese. Allow to rest and marinade for a few minutes.
Just before you serve the salad, add the spinach and cheese and toss to fully combine. Garnish as you like–more cheese, some fresh herbs, a few fresh tomatoes, whatever you like!
Eat and ENJOY!