Quick and Easy Summer Pasta Salad

June 13, 2018
 

By Kathleen Shafer, M.A., R.D.

As the weather warms up I like to have some flavorful and healthy cold dishes for the family to enjoy. This pasta salad starts with a whole grain pasta, and adds in some of summer’s bounty, along with some protein and fiber packed beans. 

This can stand alone as a main entrée, works well as a brown bag lunch option and can be served as a side dish for barbeque season. You can play with the recipe and add in some grilled or roasted veggies, or substitute feta for parmesan cheese. The possibilities are endless. 

For the dressing — whisk together in a small bowl:

  • 2 lemons — zested and juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • ½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely minced

Combine the items below and toss with desired amount of dressing.  

  • 1 pint of Cherry tomatoes, cut in 1/2
  • 8-10 leaves of Fresh basil, cleaned and cut into small ribbons
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese — shredded finely
  • 3 cups of baby spinach or arugula
  • 1 can garbanzo or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 box Whole grain Farfalle pasta (or other favorite) cooked al dente in salted water

Taste for seasoning and enjoy.  If you are making this ahead of time, toss in the spinach or arugula right before serving.

The author is director of Nutrition Services at NorthBay Healthcare.

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