We love pasta salads around here. One of the things we like best about pasta salads is that they can be made from many different pasta types.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad is a recipe to keep in mine when you’re looking for party food recipes or amazing salad recipes to add to your list of food to bring to a party.
Some of our favorite foods to bring to a party are salads. Pasta salads particularly are typically very well received. Everyone has a favorite.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Our Mediterranean Pasta Salad packs a lot of interesting flavors into each bite.
Yet, the strong flavors aren’t overwhelming because they are tempered by the satisfying addition of penne pasta and fresh herbs.
Party Food Recipes
This robust salad has enough presence to serve as a light, yet satisfying, main course – or it can act as the perfect complement to more neutral dishes, like grilled chicken breast or a mild white fish.
NOTE: You can use fresh or preserved lemons to make this recipe. I recommend trying the preserved lemons because they add more intense flavor. You can either buy a container of preserved lemons or easily make your own with Himalayan salt blocks.
A word of caution, however, if you use preserved lemons, taste before adding additional salt.
- 1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions and cooled
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.
- 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, washed and chopped, seeds and excess liquid removed
- 12-15 large fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and cut into thin strips
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, stems removed and chopped
- ½ cup Kalamata olives
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh or preserved organic lemon, chopped into small chunks with rinds
- 2 cup fresh arugula
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- 3 ounces block feta cheese, cut into equal sized chunks
To make the vinaigrette, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard together in a small bowl until blended smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Add olive oil and garlic to a cold pan and set heat to medium high. Sauté for approximately 2 minutes before adding chopped tomato. Cook for 3 minutes or until the tomato softens. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine the cooked tomato and garlic mixture with the basil, oregano, olives, red onion and preserved lemons. Add the cooked pasta, arugula and both types of cheese. Finally, add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.