This great Meatless Monday Recipe is an easy summer pasta salad. This easy recipe combines whole wheat pasta spirals, garbanzo beans, fresh veggies and a tasty olive dressing. It is quick, simple to make and you can add or subtract ingredients that you want to and still have a colorful, tasty main dish for Meatless Monday as a result.
Now when I think back to past salad, I get a number of great tasting ideas in my head. There are times when I want a cool and creamy pasta salad, but there are other times that call for an olive oil based pasta salad. I like to make these olive-oil based salad dressings when it is hot outside and I am bringing a salad for lunch to work or a picnic.
For this pasta salad I used the Organic Whole Wheat pasta that is available at Trader Joe’s. This pasta comes in all shapes and sizes and my favorite one looks like little spirals. I also like the nutty flavor that this pasta has, and the fact that it holds up well, even when you cook it a bit longer than you needed to (yes, I forgot about the pasta cooking away for a few minutes- but it was still great and held up very well when I tossed the salad).
What you need:
- ½ pound Whole Wheat pasta spirals (or use your favorite noodles)
- 1 container Trader Joe’s Tapenade
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed
- 1 16 oz packet cherry tomatoes (we used Trader Joe’s Heirloom tomatoes)
- 3 green onions, sliced thin
1. Cook pasta spirals following package directions. Drain under cold water. In a small bowl combine tapenade, a splash of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper. Pour over pasta and toss lightly.
2. Cut cherry tomatoes in half, and add to pasta. Also add rinsed garbanzo beans and the green onions to the pasta as well. Toss lightly and taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Also check the amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add another splash of both if you like.
That’s it! See how easy that was? I like to use tapenade to make the dressing as it has garlic and other great spices. Another great product for summer pasta salads would be to make a pesto-balsamic vinegar salad dressing.
- Add frozen, thawed sweet peas, diced peppers or cucumbers would be great too.
- Diced Sweet onions (red or white)
- Fresh herbs such as basil sliced thin, or thyme
- Canned black olives in rings
- Pimentos (roasted red peppers) chopped fine
I would also suggest that you make this pasta salad the day before you serve it, to allow the flavors to really develop.
We hope you enjoyed this Meatless Monday Recipe idea. Let us know what you are serving this week.