I know that there aren't a huge amount of people that enjoy eating pasta in cold form but I have to say that this one might turn a few people. I find one of the most important things in salad making is the colourful ingredients that you add in it. I like to really pack a punch visually in this salad with chopped red tomatoes and tons of baby greens. The tangy herby dressing really compliments the simple ingredients in this easy pasta salad. When you're choosing a pasta to use, make sure to use a pasta that has lines or grooves in the pasta itself. The lines in the penne, in this instance, will help the pasta adhere to the sauce. Every bite will hold a bit of the vinaigrette which is always a plus in my books. If you would like to make this a full out meal go ahead and add either a can of tuna, sliced grilled chicken or even sliced grilled steak.

Serves 4

  • 8 oz. penne pasta, cooked until al dente
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • coarse salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp each: dried thyme, garlic powder, oregano leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
  • 1 package of mixed baby greens/spinach or arugula
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, sliced thin
  • handful of fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

In a large bowl, place in the cooked pasta and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, yellow mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, and all of the herbs. In the bowl with the penne pasta, add in the whole package of baby greens, the chopped tomatoes and the sliced sweet onion. Pour over the dressing and toss the salad together to combine. Sprinkle a generous handful of fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese and serve. Note: that if you choose to serve the pasta salad later on, I suggest pouring the dressing onto the rest of the salad and putting in the package of mixed baby greens when you're ready to serve.

Suggestion: If you don't want to use Parmesan or Romano, try using crumbled goat cheese or crumbled feta for a creamier effect!

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