Thursday, May 22, 2014

Arugula, Sun Dried Tomato, & Feta Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is one of my favorite party foods.  When I throw a birthday party, I tend to go all out (check out my Cars and Superman parties here: 1, 2, 3, 4), so I like foods that can be made in advance and don't need to be served hot.  This arugula, sun-dried tomato, and feta pasta salad is one I turn to again and again.  I regularly get asked for the recipe so I thought I would post it on here so that everyone can make it.

What really sets this pasta salad apart is the dressing.  It's based on a salad dressing that my stepmom makes.  The trick is a combination of two vinegars, red wine and rice wine.  A lot of pasta salads use a pre-made dressing but homemade dressings are super easy and make a huge difference.

Start out by cooking your pasta according to the directions on the pasta.  I used penne this time but any short pasta you like is perfect.  While your pasta is cooking make the dressing.  Combine some extra-virgin olive oil with equal parts rice wine and red wine vinegars.  Stir in a little dijon mustard, dried oregano, onion salt, and pepper.

Drain the pasta and then toss with the dressing while it's still warm.  Refrigerate the pasta until it is cool then add in a container of feta with mediterranean herbs and half of a jar of julienned sun-dried tomatoes.  I got my feta and my tomatoes at Trader Joe's.

Toss it all together and refrigerate until ready to serve.  You can make it to this point the day before.

Right before serving, add in about half of a package of arugula and toss it all together.  Then sit back and wait for the compliments to come rolling in.  This is the perfect pasta salad to bring to a barbecue this holiday weekend.

Arugula, Sun-Dried Tomato, & Feta Pasta Salad
  • 1 lb. pasta, penne or other short shape
  • 4 oz. oil-packed julienned sun-dried tomatoes
  • 6 oz. package crumbled feta with mediterranean herbs
  • 3 1/2 oz. arugula
For Dressing:
  • 3 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbls. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbls. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta cooks whisk together all dressing ingredients.  Drain pasta and toss with dressing while still warm.  Cover and refrigerate until cool.
  3. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes and feta and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Right before serving, add arugula and toss well.

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