I love pasta salad..in fact, I love any dish involving pasta! Pasta salad was my go-to dish to take to BBQs or my contribution for a buffet. I used to throw anything and everything in the bowl along with about half a jar of mayo (yuk!). Don’t get me wrong I like mayonnaise, but I also like to taste the other flavours in a dish and not just mayo.
I’ve since learnt that pasta salad doesn’t need to be drowning in mayo to be delicious, it tastes even better without it in my humble opinion. The basil in this salad lends a lovely fresh flavour and compliments the tomatoes beautifully, I mean basil and tomatoes are a match made in heaven, right?!
I only add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to this, just enough to taste but I don’t want to overpower the dish if you’d prefer more then add more to suit your taste.
I often double up this recipe and use leftovers for lunches or to have as a side with some grilled vegetables or a large leafy green salad.
-1 cup uncooked gluten-free penne pasta (or another pasta of similar size)
-1 or 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
-2 large handfuls baby spinach, washed and finely chopped
-1 avocado, stone & skin removed, diced and drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning
-1 large handful cherry tomatoes, cleaned & halved
-1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
-1/3 cup olives, halved
-1 spring onion, trimmed, cleaned and finely sliced
-handful of fresh basil, washed and finely chopped
-1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-salt & pepper to taste
How To Make
Place the uncooked pasta into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook as per packet instructions.
Whilst pasta is cooking, wash and chop vegetables and basil.
Drain the pasta once cooked and place in a large bowl, drizzle over the olive oil and add the chopped spinach. Adding the spinach whilst the pasta is still warm will help wilt the spinach. Stir to combine.
Once the pasta had cooled add the remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
This can be served as a main dish or as a side.