Pasta salads are always a winner for lunches.
This recipe is inspired by the flavours of Mediterranean cuisine with olives, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, bocconcini and lots of vegetables.
Colourful, full of flavour and very filling, this pasta salad has all the qualities you’re looking for in a satiating lunch that will provide you with a good dose of energy.
Which pasta to choose to make this salad?
To make this salad, the ideal is to use short pasta.
Personally, I have a soft spot for curls, which retain a slightly firmer consistency when baked.
When choosing your type of pasta, also go for the ones that will hold well the pesto-based dressing.
So, in addition to curls, penne or fusilli are excellent choices.
For an even more satisfying lunch, I used Catelli’s Smart pasta, which contains twice as much fibre as other traditional white pastas.
A dressing without mayonnaise
But that’s not all! In addition to being delicious, it is also a slightly healthier and less fatty pasta salad than what is usually found since it does not contain mayonnaise.
To make the dressing, we opt for a mixture of dried tomato pesto, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic salt.
Other ingredients that can be added to the pasta salad
For a higher protein intake, you can also add the following ingredients:
- cooked chicken;
- cold cuts such as dry sausage, salami or diced ham;
- lightly roasted pine nuts;
- lightly roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- 1 package of short pasta (penne, loops, etc.) - 340 g
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 12 artichoke hearts, diced
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup diced red or yellow bell pepper
- ½ cup Kalamata (or marinated) olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 cups of arugula
- ½ cup of mini bocconcini (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp. garlic salt
- Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain pasta, rinse in cold water and set aside.
- Meanwhile, chop vegetables and parsley.
- In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients.
- In a salad bowl or large bowl, add all salad ingredients.
- Add the dressing to the pasta salad and mix well.
- Serve immediately.
You can also add cooked chicken, pine nuts, roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds