Orecchiette had been hanging out in my pantry for far too long. The ear-shaped pasta whispered “cook me” many times. Thoughts of it tossed with sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and rapini cascaded through my mind. The all too familiar preparation did not lead to excitement. It continued to sit in the corner. A recipe search lead to the inspiration to finally get it cooked. Roast beef pasta salad quieted the whispers and delighted my orecchiette loving heart.
Salads make for a quick and easy meal. The only cooking involved for this one is for the pasta. Once it is done and drained, a quick toss puts it all together. Your weekday supper is on the table in 30 minutes or less. Tender roast beef, smooth mozzarella, tangy artichoke hearts, peppery arugula, and al dente pasta are tossed with a lemony dressing. Grape tomatoes burst when you bite into them and basil brings in summer freshness.
Use other pasta if orecchiette is not available. Sea shells, farfalle (bow ties), and rigatoni are good alternatives. Bocconcini is small mozzarella balls. If you cannot find it, use fresh mozzarella and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
How often do you make salads for dinner? Does it depend on the season? I make them often. Some of my favorites are tuna salad nicoise, shrimp salad, spinach salad with warm bacon dressing, and Greek salad.
Please take a look at the other wonderful Weekday Supper recipes for this week:
- Monday – Juanita’s Cocina – Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
- Wednesday – Foxes Loves Lemons – Homemade Grilled Pizza
- Thursday – Sue’s Nutrition Buzz – Mediterranean Salmon Salad with Red Potatoes
- Friday – Growing Up Gabel – Chinese Chicken Salad
Looking for more Weekday Supper inspiration? Follow the #WeekdaySupper hashtag on twitter for quick and easy recipes we share throughout the week, every week of the year! Share yours too, just remember to tweet them with the hashtag.
Roast Beef Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces orecchiette or other pasta dry weight
- 6 ounces bocconcini cut in half*
- 1 cup quartered marinated artichoke hearts drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Zest from 1/2 lemon about 1 teaspoon
- 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 cups baby arugula
- 6 ounces deli-sliced roast beef cut into strips
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain.
Add the bocconcini, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a large bowl. Stir or toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cooked pasta, arugula, and roast beef to the bowl. Stir or toss gently to combine. Adjust seasoning if needed with additional salt and pepper.
*Bocconcini is small fresh mozzarella balls. If those are not available, use larger fresh mozzarella and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Recipe adapted from one on the Food Network website.