I love recipes that you can make ahead of time! Since I entertain a lot, make-ahead recipes are a must. This is one of my favorite dishes to serve at a summer BBQ or picnic. The best part is that the longer it sits, the better it gets! I like to make this pasta salad the day before a BBQ and then just keep it in the fridge until I’m ready to serve. This allows the flavors to really combine and the salad becomes even more delicious. My best friend’s Mom gave me this recipe when we were in college. She would make a big batch of it for our house when she came to visit us. It has since become a staple recipe in our home.
- 1 lb fettuccine
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 9.5 oz jar Kalamata olives, drained and chopped
- 1 7 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
- 2 tbsp oil from the jar or sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- 4 oz honey goat cheese (you can use regular goat cheese but the sweetness from the honey is great in this salad)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add about a tablespoon of salt to the water and drop in the pasta. Cook until al dente, which depending on the brand of pasta is about 9 to 11 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.
To a large mixing bowl, add olive oil, red wine vinegar and garlic. Whisk together and then add in the cooked pasta. Coat the pasta in the olive oil mixture.
Add in the chopped onions, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and crumbled goat cheese. Then add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes (it has such rich flavor from the sun-dried tomatoes). Mix the salad together until all ingredients are combined. Then add salt to taste (I usually end up using about a teaspoon). Store in the fridge until ready to serve.