Great for a Cookout, Picnic or just Lunch!
Bright ingredients, tossed in a tangy and slightly spicy vinaigrette produce a vibrant, colorful pasta salad that will be a hit at summer picnics, potlucks and parties!
This no-mayonnaise pasta salad derives nice saltiness from the olives and feta; fresh flavor from the peppers, tomatoes and herbs; and a flavorful punch from the Melange de France seasoning blend with its notes of healthy curcuma and coriander blended with slightly spicy and garlicky oils.
I love this recipe because it is easy, feeds a crowd and can be made to suit the food preferences of any crowd. BE BRAVE and use a gluten-free pasta, substitute the pepperoni with grilled chicken, or even pan-seared tofu – be creative and experiment. I promise you; it will be delicious!
Perfect for a cookout, or picnic, the flavors meld and deepen with time so make it ahead and put this recipe on repeat all summer – your family and friends will be thrilled!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
1 lb short pasta (O&V Monnezaglia or Orecchiette) or penne
5 tablespoons O&V Garden Herb vinegar *
4-5 tablespoons O&V Roasted Garlic oil *
1-2 tablespoons O&V Peperoncini oil *
2 teaspoons O&V Mélange de France seasoning mix *
6-8 oz crumbled feta
½ cup O&V Sundried Tomato Stuffed Olives *
½ cup O&V Sundried tomatoes, chopped *
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped or whole baby spinach
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons minced oregano (plus some whole leaves for garnish)
¼ cup minced parsley (plus some whole leaves for garnish)
½ lb pepperoni or prosciutto, sliced (optional)
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl combine the oils, vinegar and Mélange de France seasoning mix with a whisk. Use the whole 2 tablespoons of Peperoncini oil for a spicier version, and less to lower the heat. Replace with additional Roasted garlic oil for a total of 6 tablespoons of oil
Cook pasta in well salted water until al dente per package instructions. Drain and toss while warm with the seasoning mix. Add the spinach and toss while warm to wilt the spinach.
Once at room temperature, toss in the quartered olives, sundried tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, oregano, parsley and meat (if using). Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes if you like additional heat and garnish with pine nuts and a few leaves of oregano and parsley
Feel free to add other vegetables like chopped zucchini or red onions or substitute the meat with grilled chicken pieces or pan sautéed tofu
Total Time: 15 minutes
* The Roasted Garlic oil provides nice garlicky flavor without the addition of pieces of garlic to bite into. The combination with the spicy Peperoncini oil and herbal Garden Herb vinegar add a nice balance of heat and tang. You can choose to use a high quality Unflavored EVOO and add some chopped garlic and chili flakes.
I love the taste of the delicious, multi-purpose Melange de France seasoning blend with its notes of healthy curcuma and coriander. You may substitute with O&V favorites like Toscana Dipper Mix or your favorite Italian blend of spices.
Just remember that the flavors and excellence of the ingredients will dictate the quality of this simple dish.
Categories: Entrée, Dairy Free Option, Vegan Option, Vegetarian Option, Easy Weeknight Meal, Potluck Dish, BBQ Side, Make Ahead Lunch, Roasted Garlic Oil, Peperoncini Oil, Garden Herb Vinegar, Mélange de France Seasoning, Marc de Champagne vinegar, Tuscan Dipper, Sundried Tomatoes, Sun dried Tomato Stuffed Olives, Pasta Salad, Mediterranean, Tuscan Pasta Salad, Greek Pasta Salad, French.