Pasta salads are a go-to summer dish. They can be a side dish along some grilled meat or fish, or easily become a main dish to a meatless meal. They are so versatile and quick to put together. I like to create mayonnaise free pasta salads in the summer for a number of reasons: they are healthier, they don't go bad in the heat, and they feel lighter in your stomach. I often use whatever I have in the fridge (since I always have it packed with veggies). These are always a hit with my family and guests alike. Plus, if you have picky toddlers, just set some of the pasta aside and you have something for everyone.
1 lb of pasta, I used cavatelli but you can use whatever you have on hand (to make it even healthier, use a whole grain pasta)
1/2 pkg baby spinach, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
juice of one lemon
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil (depending on your taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Once the pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, tomato, cheese, pine nuts, and dressing. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary. You can serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!