This pasta salad is delicious. It’s light and lemony with a good number of vegetables. I think you could add just about anything you want to it, and when I make it again I may try summer squash and shaved carrot bits.
Doesn’t it look yummy? This was originally a Giada recipe, but I altered it a good bit so I’m claiming it as my own.
One of the major things she did that I feel you can skip is toss the pasta in browned butter. I couldn’t really taste the butter and don’t think it added anything to the dish. Instead I recommend just using the lemon sauce and cheese. I’ll keep the brown butter in the instructions below, but label it optional.
Summer Pasta Salad
3/4 box of Penne, cooked
1 pint Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bag baby spinach (or other desired lettuce)
4 T butter (optional)
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup Pine Nuts, toasted
juice of one lemon
3 to 4 T olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to box directions (11 mins for Penne).
2. OPTIONAL: Melt butter in a large saute pan and brown over low heat. Keep butter moving while it browns or it may solidify.
3. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add cooked penne to browned butter or return to original cooking pot. Add tomatoes, baby spinach, lemon sauce, Parmesan and pine nuts to pasta. Toss well.
5. Serve and enjoy!