Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad with White Beans and Spinach

Here’s another vegetarian dish for you (actually, if you skip the cheese on top, it’s a vegan dish!)… You’re shocked, I’m sure!

When I was trying to pick out my vegetarian menu last week, I handed my hubby a few cookbooks and told him to pick out some dishes that sounded good.  I figure, if he’s a part of the process of choosing meals, he can’t complain too much about my meatless meals. (In his defense, he doesn’t usually complain too much… Not usually.)

He picked out a pasta salad in one of my cookbooks that he thought sounded good… I glanced at the recipe and pointed out quite a few things that I didn’t like… Raw garlic in the dressing, not enough “mix-ins”, ingredients that are hard to find, etc.  I can be critical!

Even though I didn’t find the original recipe to be all that impressive, it did give me a few ideas… I knew that I wanted to make a hearty pasta salad for dinner one night. Even though raw garlic doesn’t do it for me, I decided to roast a head of garlic to make a roasted garlic vinaigrette to dress the salad. To keep things interesting, I threw in some sundried tomatoes, artichokes, and spinach.

Fortunately, we both really loved the salad. It’s great served right away, but I think it was actually better served cold the next day. It’s easy to throw together, and it’s really pretty healthy. If you’re looking for a delicious and filling meatless meal, I’d highly recommend it.  And, I think it would also make a great potluck dish, as well!

Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad with White Beans and Spinach
(Serves 10 – 12)

For the dressing:

  • 1 head (about 10 cloves) roasted garlic, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1/2 pound dry white beans, cooked according to package directions
    (You can substitute two cans of white beans, rinsed and drained)
  • 14.5 ounces cooked whole wheat farfalle pasta
  • 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 4 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces sundried tomatoes (dry packed), cut into strips
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
    (For a vegan dish, skip the cheese!)

First, prepare the dressing.  Combine the roasted garlic, olive oil, and vinegars in a small food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, toss together the white beans, pasta, artichoke hearts, spianch, and sundried tomatoes.  Add the dressing and stir to evenly coat the salad with the dressing.  Use a vegetable peeler to shave small slices of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the salad. Serve at room temperature.

13 Responses to Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad with White Beans and Spinach

  1. Looks like a perfect salad for a Tupperware container. I can completely envision myself eating this at my desk for lunch. (That’s a good thing, I promise.)

  2. I love how flavorful and colorful this dish is! My husband would love this. Although I’m sure he would ask me to throw in some grilled chicken with it. But that’s the added beauty of this dish-you can make for meat eaters or vegetarians all at once!

  3. oh yum this looks great! i have some frozen ravioli in the freezer.. i’m thinking about subbing it in for the bowties. wouldn’t be quite as light, but i think the flavors would work well!