This is NOT one of those Plain-Jane Pasta Salads! There’s tons of flavor from the artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and Caesar dressing!
I attended a fun Kentucky Derby party yesterday. Luckily the weather cooperated and it was lovely and sunny outside. The guests were asked to bring a dish to share and I decided to make some type of salad. Liking the looks of the Kale Caesar Pasta Salad in the May issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, I riffed off that – and ended up changing pretty much everything. However, I did stick pretty close to their caesar dressing ingredients ’cause it’s easy and delicious. (In fact, yesterday one guy returned three times for more of this salad. Now THAT’S a recommendation!!)
I used spinach and arugula instead of the kale called for in the original recipe. I HIGHLY recommend being sure to add arugula – no matter what other greens you may decide to use!! The slight peppery flavor of arugula is perfect combined with the artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and red onion.
+ I know this isn’t a traditional Caesar Salad dressing but it’s not a good idea to eat raw eggs. +
++ Arugula, also known as salad or garden rocket, is one of the nutritious green leafy vegetables of Mediterranean origin. In fact, when we lived in Malta, we could pick arugula in a meadow or the side of the road. And I believe the British simply call it ‘rocket’. ++ The young leaves are tender and less peppery than those of a mature plant.
- 1 (12 oz.) box Farfalle (bowtie) pasta, cooked according to directions – drained and cooled.
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbs. mayonnaise
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 (5 oz.) bag spinach/arugula mix ++ This is the first time I’ve found this mixture. Otherwise, purchase spinach and mix with equal parts arugula. ++ I prefer regular spinach (torn into pieces) for this recipe but baby spinach would also work.
- 1 (6 oz.) jar brined, PITTED Kalamata olive – drained
- 1 (12 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts – drained and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
Cook Farfalle (bowtie) pasta according to package directions but add 1 Tbs. olive oil and 1 tsp. salt to cooking water. ++ I recommend covering cooked, drained pasta once or twice with cold water to eliminate any heat. ++ Be sure to drain pasta well.
In a small bowl whisk together 6 Tbs. mayonnaise, 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, 1/3 freshly grated Parmesan, 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1 Tbs. milk, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Set aside.
Place 1 (5 oz.) bag spinach/arugula mix, 1 (6 oz.) jar brined, PITTED Kalamata olive – drained, 1 (12 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts – drained and 1/3 cup chopped red onion in a large salad bowl.
Add cooled cooked pasta. Mix pasta with greens. Pour the caesar dressing over all and mix to cover all your salad ingredients. And that’s all there is to it – your Creamy Caesar Pasta Salad is ready. ENJOY!!