‘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-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.
Psych NairoMonday, 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!
EthanWednesday, 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!
SarahFriday, 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. 🙂
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.
VividlyMonday, 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.
SarahMonday, 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. 🙂
VividlyMonday, 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 🙂
MelissaWednesday, 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!!
YanaThursday, June 26, 2014 at 4:27 am
I must to try this recipe, thanks you so much!
SamThursday, 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.
RobinTuesday, 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
ChantalTuesday, March 18, 2014 at 10:26 am
Very nice images!
I just discover your food blog. It’s really nice!
Heidi @foodiecrushSaturday, March 15, 2014 at 11:44 am
Simple pastas are the bees knees. Especially when they have little hands dipped in them.
MBSaturday, 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!
cheriThursday, March 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm
You are so talented, love your pics, they are amazing.
susanneThursday, 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
SarahFriday, 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++
TrishaThursday, 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
VickyThursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:48 am
It looks fantastic !!!!! great recipe!
Katrina @ WVSThursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:11 am
I love the simplicity to this! It looks great!
SkyeThursday, 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.
KathrynThursday, March 13, 2014 at 4:35 am
What a lovely bowl of pasta, such a light + bright combination of flavours.
Sini | my blue&white kitchenThursday, 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.
MeghanThursday, 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.
TieghanWednesday, 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!
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.