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whole wheat pasta with balsamic-spinach-basil dressing

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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

  • Reply
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)
    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 10:37 pm

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

  • Reply
    Tieghan
    Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 10:47 pm

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

  • Reply
    Meghan
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:02 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Sini | my blue&white kitchen
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:21 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 4:35 am

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

  • Reply
    Skye
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 4:35 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Katrina @ WVS
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I love the simplicity to this! It looks great!

  • Reply
    Vicky
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:48 am

    It looks fantastic !!!!! great recipe!

  • Reply
    Trisha
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

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

  • Reply
    susanne
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 2:09 pm

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

    • Reply
      Sarah
      Friday, March 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Susanne! Thanks so much! I use a little bit of all of them. For these photos here I used the 5 pack, Agfa Vista 400++

  • Reply
    cheri
    Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm

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

  • Reply
    GROCERY LIST 35 | Wit & Vinegar
    Friday, March 14, 2014 at 1:22 am

    […] 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 […]

  • Reply
    MB
    Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 5:53 am

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

  • Reply
    Heidi @foodiecrush
    Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

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

  • Reply
    bon weekend |
    Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm

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

  • Reply
    Chantal
    Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 10:26 am

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

    Chantal

  • Reply
    10 Recipes to Ring in Spring | A Tree Grows in the Bayou
    Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 10:23 am

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

  • Reply
    Robin
    Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 7:52 am

    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

  • Reply
    Sam
    Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 9:15 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Yana
    Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 4:27 am

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

  • Reply
    Melissa
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 9:17 am

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

  • Reply
    Vividly
    Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:22 am

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    Vividly
    Monday, August 18, 2014 at 4:41 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      Monday, August 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      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. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mackenzie M.
    Monday, November 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Ethan
    Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      Friday, December 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Ethan -I’m so glad to hear the pasta was a success! It’s one of my favorite dinner recipes. 🙂

  • Reply
    Weekend Thoughts / 24 | Eat Up, Buttercup
    Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    […] 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, […]

  • Reply
    Psych Nairo
    Monday, May 30, 2016 at 6:40 am

    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!

  • Reply
    7 Gorgeous Recipes for Your Early Summer Produce | The Kitchen Library
    Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 4:03 pm

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

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