Family-friendly and super delicious, this pasta salad lasts for days in your refrigerator. It’s perfect for workday or school day lunches or as a side to roasted chicken or burgers. Feel free to add diced red or yellow peppers or roasted zucchini to the mix.
Keyword: easy lunch, lunch salad, pasta salad, roasted tomatoes, summer pasta salad
Servings: 10lunch servings
For the Roasted Tomatoes:
1/4cupextra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
For the Oregano Dressing:
1teaspoonkosher or sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1teaspoonfresh or dried oregano
3 tablespoonslemon juice
3tablespoonsred wine, white wine or champagne vinegar
1/2cupextra-virgin olive oil
For the Pasta Salad:
14ouncesfresh or dried macaroni
2cupsarugula or spinach leaves
1/2cupbasil leaves, chopped
1/4 pine nuts, toasted(optional)
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Heat oven to 350°F. Add the tomatoes to a sheet pan or baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Shake the pan to coat in oil and apace out the tomatoes. Bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes, until somewhat shriveled and softened, but not fully dehydrated. Set aside to cool. (Note, if your pine nuts are not yet toasted, you can place them in the oven for the last 7-8 minutes, shaking them once or twice for even toasting. Let cool before using.)
Roughly chop the garlic or use a microplaner to grate it. Add it to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, then add salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add oregano and whisk in lemon juice and vinegar. Close the lid and shake the garlic and vinegar mixture well. Set aside to let the garlic marinate in the vinegar for at least 10 minutes. This will soften the garlic's bite and also flavor the vinegar. Add in the oil, cover and shake to combine.
In a medium or large mixing bowl, add the cooked and drained pasta and drizzle with about 2-3 tablespoons of the oregano dressing. Toss to combine and cool the pasta if it's still warm. Add the roasted tomatoes and the juices from the pan, cheese and pine nuts if using, and toss gently to combine. Add another 1-2 tablespoons dressing to taste. Finish with chopped greens and basil (or add those just before serving). Refrigerate remaining oregano dressing for green salad or Greek salad.
Salad can be eaten immediately, but will keep in the fridge up to 3-4 days. Basil and greens may start to oxidize or brown slightly by the 4th day. When I make this for myself, I sometimes add more greens to increase the veggie quotient!