Recipe: Penne Pasta Salad With Asparagus and Arugula

Great for a quick meal or potluck dinner
Recipe: Penne Pasta Salad With Asparagus and Arugula

This room-temperature salad is perfect for a quick evening meal or buffet table. (You can easily double the recipe.) Feel free to substitute a red bell pepper for the yellow, and walnuts for the pine nuts. Use full-bodied extra virgin olive oil and your best balsamic vinegar.

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4 ounces whole wheat penne
1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
5 ounces baby or mature arugula, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Balsamic vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, optional
Freshly ground pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, and let cool slightly.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, simmer the asparagus until just crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Refresh under cold water, pat dry, and place in a large salad bowl. Add the bell pepper, arugula, tomatoes and basil.
  3. Make the vinaigrette by mixing the oil, vinegar, garlic, shallot, mustard and 1 tablespoon water in a small cup. Add salt (if using) and pepper, and whisk to combine well. Toss the pasta with the vegetables, and dress with the vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature, garnished with pine nuts.

Nutrition information

Makes 4 servings

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Per serving:
Calories: 270 (41% calories from fat)
Total fat: 13g (1.5g saturated fat)
Protein 8g
Carbohydrate 34g
Dietary fiber 6g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 35mg
Potassium 530mg

Source: Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook (© 2007 Broadway Books)

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