whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing | the vanilla bean blog
‘Nothing can match the treasure of common memories, of trials endured together, of quarrels and reconciliations and generous emotions. It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak.’ – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars
whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing | the vanilla bean blog
whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing | the vanilla bean blog
whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing | the vanilla bean blog
whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing | the vanilla bean blog

whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing | the vanilla bean blog
Whole Wheat Pasta with Balsamic-Basil-Spinach Dressing
adapted from the Blue Heron Coffeehouse

I like this with chopped basil leaves and grape tomatoes, but it also tastes delicious with diced red peppers, pine nuts, Parmesan, red onion, and/or black olives tossed in at the end. The dressing has a bit of a kick, which you can up a bit by adding more red pepper flakes, or take down by omitting them all together. The pasta can be served warm or cold. If you are making this a day ahead, I suggest only putting half the dressing on, and putting the other half on right before serving.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (see above note)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup packed fresh basil, plus 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 pound whole wheat pasta, cooked
1 pint grape tomatoes

Put the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes, pepper, salt, oregano, sugar, tomato, 1/2 cup basil, spinach, and garlic in a food processor [or blender] and pulse until pureed.

In a large bowl, pour the dressing over the warm pasta and toss until combined. Add 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves and grape tomatoes, and gently toss again. Serve pasta warm or cold.
whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing | the vanilla bean blog

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31 Responses to whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing

  1. This is a gorgeous pasta. I love the unique flavors of the salad dressing. Gorgeous images as usual.

  2. Tieghan says:

    Such gorgeous images. I love coming here and just staring at your photos. SO inspiring! Also, I love the pasta. Reminds me of summer!

  3. Meghan says:

    This sounds like the perfect recipe for right about this time of year when spring is just starting to cut into the final edge of winter. Comforting and fresh foods are exactly what I need right now. Gorgeous, simple recipe with photos just the same.

  4. A lovely, simple pasta recipe. Quite perfect for my insanely stressful days (read: Sitting on the 7 am train for the second day in a row. Basically, I’m a wreck right now). The first tomato picture is pure art – the composition is perfect.

  5. Kathryn says:

    What a lovely bowl of pasta, such a light + bright combination of flavours.

  6. Skye says:

    I adore spaghetti with fresh cherry tomatoes – it is one of my childhood favourites that I still crave daily. But I would never have thought to add fresh spinach – what a lovely touch. As is the balsamic.

  7. I love the simplicity to this! It looks great!

  8. Vicky says:

    It looks fantastic !!!!! great recipe!

  9. Trisha says:

    Looks awesome. I always needs something quick but delicious to make for lunch.. adding this to the list x

  10. susanne says:

    I really love your pictures! May I ask you which vsco preset do you use? Warm regards Susanne

  11. cheri says:

    You are so talented, love your pics, they are amazing.

  12. […] a sucker for anything spaghetti so obviously I want some that’s topped with balsamic spinach basil dressing. Also SUMMER TOMATOES GET HERE NOW. (via The Vanilla Bean […]

  13. MB says:

    Lovely post… I must say I love the idea of adding olives to the pasta… and as always, gorgeous photos!

  14. Simple pastas are the bees knees. Especially when they have little hands dipped in them.

  15. […] Pasta for Sunday dinner, anyone? […]

  16. Chantal says:

    Very nice images!
    I just discover your food blog. It’s really nice!


  17. […] 9. Whole Wheat Pasta with Balsamic-Spinach-Basil Dressing {Vanilla Bean Blog} […]

  18. Robin says:

    This is so beautiful and I’m sure it’s all super delicious! Pasta takes only about 15 minutes to prepare so very fast and simple… and u make a lot of different recipes with pasta

  19. Sam says:

    Found you through thekitchn.com! I tried the recipe last night and it was SO UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. I didn’t know whole wheat pasta could taste like this. I’m a big protein girl so I grilled some chicken with the dressing in a skillet first and then stirred it into the pasta and remaining ingredients. I hate when my co-workers are all in my lunchbox, but I’m walking with extra leftovers today so they can taste it lol.

  20. Yana says:

    I must to try this recipe, thanks you so much!

  21. Melissa says:

    Wow! My husband and I tried this recipe last evening. It was simply amazing! We truly enjoyed:) Thanks so much!!

  22. Vividly says:

    Hello, I tried this and I loved it too, may I ask which camera do u use?
    I love your blog and everything in it, even the name of the blog 🙂

  23. Vividly says:

    I just would like to add that today I made it for my colleagues at work, but when I stored it until lunch time I’ve put it in the refrigerator, so it ended up tasting so dull.
    how can I store it and still keep the good taste for a later time of the day.

    • Sarah says:

      If you are going to make this salad ahead, I suggest you only put on half the dressing initially, and then the other half right before you serve it. That will help keep it tasting fresh. I hope that helps! And I’m so glad you liked it. Also, I have a FAQ section in my ‘About’ section (there is a button for it at the top of my blog) – and that has all my camera info and whatnot. Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

  24. Mackenzie M. says:

    This looks soooo gooooood! I am a pasta buff and love everything involving basil. This sounds like the perfect dish for me. I want to try it right now! Thanks for sharing.

  25. Ethan says:

    Just made this for dinner tonight; it was actually my first time making pasta on my own and was AMAZINGLY stress-free. I’m primarily a baker but this was a piece of cake by comparison (NO pun intended 😉 ). Thanks for the recipe!

  26. […] it’s officially summer, which means basil, which means PESTO! I made our first batch of Sarah’s Whole Wheat Pasta with Balsamic-Spinach-Basil dressing (which is sort of pesto, except… not really at all, actually). Not only is it delicious, […]

  27. Psych Nairo says:

    The grape tomatoes made me try this since I had a lot left over after a different recipe. The outcome was as perfect as it looks! I also added a dash of mixed herbs and it was delish!

  28. […] Whole Wheat Pasta with Spinach Basil Dressing | The Vanilla Bean Blog […]

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