Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This is a super easy pasta salad that I love to make at any time of the year. The pasta is full of rich Mediterranean flavors, and includes as medley of tomatoes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, mozarella, and bacon. I have used feta cheese before although I think the milder mozzarella is a much better complement to the rest of the flavors. The smokiness of the crumbled bacon and sun-dried tomatoes are a fantastic combination to the sweet cherry tomatoes and olives.
Natalya is a big proponent of a more “stuff” to pasta ratio and thus, I changed the recipe to double the amount of tomatoes, mozarella, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and bacon that the recipe calls for. The recipe suggests using Italian, Greek, or Sun-Dried Tomato dressing but as I don’t normally buy any pre-made salad dressings, I have always just sort of made it up. The dressing I concocted is a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard and I think it works quite well. I always make this very ad hoc… lots of eyeballing of ingredients and tasting until it is perfect!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad (adapted from Bob Evans®)
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Yields: 6 servings
- 8 oz Farfalle (bow tie) pasta
- 6 slices of bacon
- 1/2 C Mediterranean style dressing (Italian or Greek or Sun-dried Tomato) OR see below
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
- 2 C (or 1 pint) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 C (or 10 oz jar) pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped (reserve the oil for the dressing)
My makeshift Mediterranean dressing:
- 3 T of olive oil (preferably from the jar of the sun-dried tomatoes)
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried herbs (oregano, basil, etc)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a dash of salt and the farfalle pasta. Cook 8-10 minutes until tender and drain. Toss pasta with some olive oil (use the infused oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes) to prevent the pasta from drying out and clumping together. Set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon according to package directions. I prefer them very crispy! Cool slightly and then chop. Also, chop up all the cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and mozzarella.
In a large serving bowl, combine all the ingredients and gently stir. Serve warm.