Here in Western PA, as I’m sure it has been all across the U.S., we have had temperatures in the upper 90’s. I love the heat, but personally, as much as I love to cook, I really don’t want to be cooking or even eating big, heavy meals. My husband and I have been eating mostly salads this week for dinner, so I thought I would share one of our favorites.

Let me know how you like it!

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This salad packs a lot of interesting flavors into each bite. From the peppery taste of fresh arugula to the salty appeal of Kalamata olives and Feta cheese, there is nothing bland or boring about this dish. Yet, its strong flavors aren’t overwhelming because they are tempered by the satisfying addition of penne pasta. This robust salad can be served as a satisfying main course or as a hearty side dish for grilled chicken or sautéed fish.
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 12-15 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 12-15 Minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients
Instructions
  1. 1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. 2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously until emulsified. Set aside. (Or prepare in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use).
  3. 3. Add olive oil and garlic to a skillet set over medium heat. Sauté for approximately 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic develops some color.
  4. 4. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until the tomatoes are warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh arugula. Set aside.
  5. 5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm tomato and arugula mixture with the fresh basil and Kalamata olives. Add the warm cooked penne pasta and both types of cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
  6. 6. Transfer the pasta salad to a large serving bowl and garnish with some fresh arugula, sprigs of basil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Cook's Tips:

  • Prepare the lemon vinaigrette in advance to give the flavors a chance to fully develop.
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