Recently, my Aunt Caroline had requested a good pasta salad recipe for her Bunco group! One of the best compliments I've received in a while, she told me I was her new "go-to food guru" and that she knew of some ways to utilize the bowtie pasta she picked up at the store, but she wanted my input and suggestions :) So anyway, I'm a big fan of anything Mediterranean, obviously, and what better way to utilize pasta then with a delicious Mediterranean-style salad. So, here's what you'll need:
1 cup - Fresh Asparagus, chopped
3 - Red Bell Peppers, chopped
1 cup - Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 can - Artichoke hearts, diced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 lb. - Bowtie, Rotini, or Penne Pasta
1/2 cup - Sun-Dried Tomatoes (from the jar, swimming in tons of delicious oil!)
8-ounces - Feta cheese, diced in cubes, or crumbled (I like keeping it cubed because I like when most of the ingredients in my food are roughly the same size)
Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, Balsamic
Preheat your oven to 375-degrees. On a greased baking sheet, lay out the diced asparagus, peppers, olives, artichokes, and onion. Drizzle generously with olive oil and splash with balsamic vinaigrette - sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Roast all of these ingredients in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until peppers have a char on them, and asparagus is soft.
Meanwhile, have the pasta cooking in a pot of salted boiling water. When the pasta is al dente, drain and toss with all of the roasted vegetables and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Toss in the Feta cheese, and combine thoroughly. Add some spices that you like to use on a regular basis -- I like Garlic Powder, Paprika, and Fresh Basil!
If you'd like to keep it light and fresh - use a few splashes of balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, and lemon zest as dressing. If you want more flavor, you can use a bottle of store-bought Greek Vinaigrette. I like Newman's Own or WishBone!
A lot of these ingredients are "to taste". If you like more or less of some things, add, subtract - whichever is to you or your guests liking.
Picture to Follow :)