Pasta salad with warm cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach and Feta.
A gorgeous Mediterranean Pasta Salad, which can be eaten warm, cold or at room temperature.
A really simple dish, perfect for packed lunches for taking to work or Uni, or a great make-ahead filling lunch.
Of course it is also perfect for transporting to picnics & easy to make when camping. Yeah, this has got sooo much going for it 🙂
I love learning about the ingredients and foods other cultures use in their daily meals. Their go-to recipes handed down from kitchen to kitchen.
And looking at Mediterranean cuisine, I find so many different and delicious ways to cook ‘my’ everyday ingredients, using new methods or combinations. This is one of those meals.
Pasta, Olive Oil, Oregano, Spinach and Tomatoes – and the local cheese to round it off.
This combination could literally belong to any Mediterranean country, and to so many Mediterranean dishes even.
And it’s a Superfood Salad
Are all of these ingredients Superfoods?
Spinach = Superfood Check it out here!
Tomatoes (cooked) = Superfood Great article here on which vegetables are better for you cooked or raw!
Olive oil = Superfood Amazing facts here!
Pasta (maybe not a Superfood, but it is a low fat ‘Super’ food!) Benefits of pasta! 🙂
and lower fat cheeses like Mozzarella* and Feta* are considered very healthy, and are the best choices for cheese lovers. Best cheeses for dieters.
I usually have all of these ingredients in my kitchen, and if Cherry tomatoes are not available, then I use these same ingredients to make a sauce by cooking the Spinach with tinned tomatoes instead.
A bunch of Spinach costs pennies, as does pasta. Just add tomatoes and some cheese* and that’s it! And, it’s easy peasy!
Warm Cherry Tomato & Spinach Pasta Salad
There really is no recipe here, just add your ingredients by eyeballing it.
Just remember to use a generous amount of pasta per person, and you can easily save any leftovers for later, in a plastic tub.
Penne (tubes), Conchiglie (shells), Farfalle (bows) and Fusilli (curly) are all perfect for pasta salad, as they don’t go soggy and have nooks and crannies for catching the saucy, cheesy bits!
To round off the Greek vibe, a good Feta cheese* is crucial, as you want some tangy saltiness. I have found that Mozzarella* cheese is also a fantastic alternative, if you want to go Italian 🙂
And if you really need even more deliciousness with this pasta salad, then pop a few of my very versatile Veggie meatballs in with the tomatoes. A match made in heaven 🙂
Pasta Salad Recipe
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
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A gorgeous Mediterranean Pasta Salad, which can be eaten warm, cold or at room temperature. A really simple dish, perfect for packed lunches for taking to work or Uni, or a great make-ahead filling lunch.
- A generous amount of Pasta, cooked al dente in salted water
- A generous handful of Spinach per person, washed & finely chopped
- A punnet of Cherry Tomatoes (I use 4-6 tomatoes per person)
- Balsamic vinegar
- 45g of Feta* per person, cubed or crumbled (or 65g reduced fat Feta*)
- or 50g Mozzarella* per person, cubed (or 70g reduced fat Mozzarella*)
- 1 heaped tsp Oregano, per person
- Olive Oil spray, or a glug of good quality Olive Oil
- Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- Cook your pasta and place in lidded plastic tub (see notes).
- Fry your cherry tomatoes, on a low heat with some Olive Oil spray until they start to pop.
- Meanwhile, prepare your Spinach, place in a bowl & sprinkle with some salt.
- Cut your cheese* into bite size cubes or crumbles, and place in a separate dish.
- Splash Balsamic vinegar generously over the tomatoes in the pan and sprinkle on the Oregano and cook for a few minutes more. (See notes!)
- Assemble your plates.
- Add desired amount of pasta, some of the raw chopped Spinach, a few warm Cherry Tomatoes and top with cubes of cheese*.
- Serve and enjoy.
The vinegar will caramelise and also change the texture of the tomatoes, breaking them down. Cook to your liking, as the more they cook, the 'smushier' they will get. If you like firmer tomatoes, then remove them earlier.
You can also add garlic cloves to the cooking tomatoes, for even more flavour.
Serve with even more salad, I combine any leftover spinach with maybe some lettuce and slice some fresh red chillies over the top for some ‘heat’. Dressed simply with Balsamic vinegar & a pinch of salt. Delish!
High Carb, Low Fat
I love how this is actually a ‘thing’!
A lot of people follow a variety of low carb, high protein diets.
But as a Carb lover following a High Carb – Low Fat diet is probably the best option for a ‘hungry Vegetarian’ 🙂
Yep, Carbs are definately ‘in’!
My favourite actress not only happens to be Mediterranean but, is a fellow Carb-lover too so very ‘au fait’ with today’s theme.
And she is famously quoted as saying,
“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
– Sophia Loren
I really hope you try and enjoy this lovely salad whether at home, in your lunchbox or out and about this summer, and please let me know if you do, either on my Facebook Page or in the comments below.
All my meal ideas include at least one third of salad/vegetables and/or fruit with it, (this is the way we at Slimming World eat less without going hungry).
N.B. Any item in bold is a Healthy Extra* on the Slimming World plan, so these must be weighed or measured and not exceeded, if you want to maximise your weight loss. Eating at least one third of vegetables (superfree food) at each and every meal is also key to this plan.
Please note that I am in no way affiliated to Slimming World, nor am I a Slimming World consultant, and still believe that the best way to follow this plan is to join either online or better still with a group near you.
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