This pasta salad is different from those mayo-heavy, elbow macaroni, small-bits-of-celery-and-carrot type of pasta salads. There’s more spinach than pasta, the pasta is whole wheat, and it is dressed with a light vinaigrette. I made it this past weekend for a camping trip up north, and it would be super for any party this summer or an al-desco lunch.
Let me tell you about our camping trip! We stayed in an old fire lookout on the top of Black Mountain up in Milford, California that I had booked way back in December (recreation.gov). Inside there were 2 little beds, a stove and actually had electricity which was pretty cushy. It was a little tricky to get to which some fairly washed out, winding roads leading there, but it was worth it to be totally secluded and have such amazing 360 views and some amazing stars at night.
- 3 cups whole wheat fusilli pasta (uncooked)
- 8 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped or grated on a microplane
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut lengthwise
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- Cook pasta according to directions, keeping it on the al-dente side. Rinse with cold water in a colander to cool it down completely, then lay it out on a clean towel to dry while you make the rest of the salad.
- In a large bowl combine pasta with vinaigrette (recipe below), sun-dried tomatoes, olives and spinach. Top with feta and serve, or refrigerate until ready to serve. You could make this a day ahead, but wait to stir in spinach until right before you're ready to serve it so that it doesn't wilt.
- Drain sun-dried tomatoes, but reserve 1/4 cup of the oil the tomatoes were packed in. Add vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and combine.
- This makes a big bowl, which would serve about 10 as a side, or 5 for a dinner. You can easily add more pasta or spinach, plus a little more oil and vinegar to stretch it out a bit to serve more people.