Over the summer I set out to develop a pasta salad recipe that included some of my oldest daughter's and my favorite flavors. I wanted it to be cold, fairly light, and filling enough to be a meal on its own. I ended up serving this alongside a rotisserie chicken for the family. It was really convenient having the leftovers ready and waiting in the fridge over the next couple of days!
Italian Pasta Salad
8 ounces pasta (macaroni, penne or rotini would work well), cooked al dente and set aside to cool
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed into bite-sized pieces
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, ricotta, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Stir in the herbs and spinach. Fold in the cooled pasta, then the tomatoes and mozzarella. Allow to chill in the fridge for about 4 hours before serving.