Mediterranean Pasta salad – this is a take on the classic Greek Salad, beefing it up a bit to make a full meal.

For all I love writing to you about business and productivity tips – when I look at my analytics, it’s clear that what people really like from this site are my healthy eating recipes from smoothies, to ways to use up leftover turkey or overripe bananas.

So although I’m no celebrity chef, not even a perfect size 10, I’m happy to share with you some yummy mummy food that makes my family happy, from time to time. If that’s what you need to make your life as a work-from-home mum easier, then that is what you will get!

I really love a Greek salad (and am really missing not being able to get to Greece this summer), but my ravenous teens would be hungry less than 5 minutes after serving them that as a meal. So here is a twist – adding pasta to the classic ingredients turns this Mediterranean staple into a good solid meal.

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Tip: Prepare the lemon vinaigrette in advance to give the flavors a chance to fully develop.

Prep time: 15 minutes     (plus time to make vinaigrette)   
Cooking time: 12-15 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, preferably organic
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tbs. honey
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Remaining Ingredients:

  • 450g penne pasta
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 300g cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 handfuls fresh rocket
  • 12-15 large fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
  • 60g Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 3 tbs Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 100g. Feta cheese, roughly chopped

Garnish:

  • Additional rocket leaves, sprigs of fresh basil, and grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Prepare the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously until emulsified. Set aside. (Or prepare in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use).

Add olive oil and garlic to a frying pan. Sauté over medium heat for approximately 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic develops some colour.

Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until the tomatoes are warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh rocket.

In a mixing bowl, combine the warm tomato and rocket mixture with the basil and olives. Add the warm cooked penne pasta and both types of cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette. Toss to combine.

Transfer the pasta salad to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh rocket and basil leaves, sprigs of basil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette on the side.

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