Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta Salad With Goat Cheese

June 1, 2016 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

Make Sundried tomatoes while the sun shines! Cliché right? But that is the next best thing to do after cribbing about the soaring mercury setting new records! If you can resist munching on them , you can top them on pizza or bruschetta, use them to make bread rolls , or in salads or for making pesto, like I do.

It is easy to make your own Sundried tomatoes at home. Use the hot summer sun and fresh tomatoes to make your stock, that will last you all through the year. If you raise your hand, I will post a step by step guide to making your own Sundried tomatoes!

Pasta salads are simple, quick to put together and very versatile. They are especially good when you want to spend minimum time in the kitchen or you want to use up leftover cooked pasta after a kiddie party!

For this Sundried Tomato Penne pasta salad, sundried tomatoes are combined together with sweet Italian basil leaves (my favourite 🙂 ) garlic, and pine nuts to make a pesto, which is used as a dressing for the pasta. You can also use walnuts instead of pine nuts.The pesto can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer (depending on how long you want to keep it). When the craving strikes, all you have to do is boil the pasta and toss together all the ingredients! The intense sweet-tart flavour of the sun-dried tomatoes makes this simple salad zesty, while the cherry tomatoes add freshness.

Capers are edible flower buds which are extensively used in Mediterranean cuisine. They can be found at any gourmet store salted or pickled. The aromatic, salty, slightly sour capers add crunch and flavour to the salad, but you can skip them if you can’t find them easily.

The spinach leaves can be substituted with any other greens like Rucola. Goat’s cheese lends a unique tart flavour to the salad but you can alternatively use Parmesan cheese or skip it completely.

This vibrant Sundried Tomato Penne pasta salad with fresh flavours straight from the Mediterranean is perfect for picnics, potlucks, lunch box or a light summer lunch or supper.

Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta Salad With Goat Cheese

Summary

  • Cuisine: italian
  • Yield: 2
  • Course or type: salad
  • Preparation Time: 15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Cooking Time: 20

Ingredients

For the Sundried Tomato Pesto
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoon Pine nuts (or walnuts)
10- 12 Italian Basil leaves
2 – 3 pods garlic
Sea salt to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper powder
4 – 5 tablespoons Extra virgin Olive oil (if using store bought Sundried tomatoes in oil, use the leftover oil)
For the salad
1 cup whole wheat Penne pasta (or any other pasta)
4-5 tablespoon Sundried Tomato pesto
2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar (optional)
2-3 tablespoon Extra virgin Olive oil
½ teaspoon black pepper, crushed
Salt to taste
10-12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
10-12 baby spinach leaves
8-10 black olives, cut in half (or use kalamata olives)
50-60 grams Goat’s cheese (or as required)
2 – 3 teaspoons salted capers,rinsed and drained to remove excess salt
Fresh Italian Basil leaves, bits of sundried tomatoes and pine nuts for garnishing

Steps

  1. Make the Sundried Tomato pesto first: Blend all the ingredients under Sundried Tomato pesto in a food processor to a coarse paste. Adjust the quantity of olive oil, if required.
  2. Cook the pasta as per instructions on the packet. Rinse under cold water and drain.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the pesto, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, black pepper and salt (check the salt amount as the pesto already will have salt)
  4. In a salad bowl, toss together the pasta, sundried tomato dressing,cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves, olives, capers and goat’s cheese.
  5. Garnish with basil leaves,sundried tomato bits and pinenuts .
  6. You can either serve it right away or chill for 30-45 minutes and then serve.

Entry filed under: balsamic vinegar, basil, black olive, black pepper, cheese, cherry tomato, Cuisines of the world, easy, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, goat, italian, nut, olive oil, pasta, peppercorn, pesto, pine nut, salad, Salads and Raitas, salt, sea salt, Spinach, tomato, vinegar, whole wheat.

Forbidden treat-Kavuni Arisi Payasam (Black Rice pudding) The ‘cartwheel’ that won me the first prize!- Ruote pasta and eggplant gratin

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