Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta Salad With Goat Cheese

Pasta salads are simple, quick and versatile. This vibrant Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta Salad with fresh flavours straight from the Mediterranean is perfect for picnics, potlucks, lunch box or even a light lunch/supper. Sun dried tomatoes are blended together with sweet Italian basil leaves and pine nuts to make a pesto, which is used as a dressing for the pasta. The intense sweet-tart flavour of the sun-dried tomatoes makes this simple salad zesty while the cherry tomatoes add a burst of freshness. Goat cheese lends a unique tart flavour to the salad but you can alternatively use Parmesan cheese.  Sun Dried Tomatoes, Pine nuts, Basil leaves, Garlic, Sea salt, Whole Black Peppercorns, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Archana’s Kitchen Durum Wheat Penne Pasta, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Balsamic Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Whole Black Peppercorns, Salt, Cherry tomatoes, Baby spinach, Black olives, Goat Cheese, Capers, Basil leaves   For the sun dried tomato pesto 1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes , chopped 2 tablespoon Pine nuts , or walnuts 8 Basil leaves 5 cloves Garlic Sea salt , to taste 1/2 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns , crushed 4 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil For the salad 1 cup Archana’s Kitchen Durum Wheat Penne Pasta , whole wheat 4 tablespoon Sun Dried Tomatoes , pesto 2 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar , optional 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/2 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns , crushed Salt , to taste 10 Cherry tomatoes , cut in half 10 Baby spinach 8 Black olives , drained and cut in half 50 grams Goat Cheese , crumbled 2 teaspoon Capers , salted, rinsed and drained to remove excess salt Basil leaves , Fresh, bits of sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts for garnishing     10   20     To begin making the Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta Salad With Goat Cheese, firstly we will make the Sun-dried tomato pesto.Blend all the ingredients under ‘Sun dried tomato pesto’ in a food processor, to a coarse paste. Adjust the quantity of olive oil, if required.The next step is to prepare the salad. Cook the pasta in a saucepan as per instructions on the packet. Rinse under cold water and drain.In a small bowl mix together the pesto, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, black pepper and salt according to your taste.In a salad bowl, toss together the pasta with sun dried tomato dressing, cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves, olives, capers and goat cheese.Garnish with basil leaves, sun-dried tomato bits and pine nuts.Serve Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta Salad With Goat Cheese with Pizza Margherita for a weekend dinner.