Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula, Pine Nuts and Herb Dressing


For lighter winter meals, Melissa Rubel Jacobson jazzes up a basic pasta salad with peppery arugula and a lively mayo-based dressing made with garlic, lemon juice and a trio of fresh herbs. She uses sweet grape tomatoes, which are delicious year-round.Plus: F&W's Best Pasta Salad Recipes

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula, Pine Nuts and Herb Dressing
Photo: © Fredrika Stjärne
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 1 pound fusilli pasta

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves

  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped oregano leaves

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 1/2 cups baby arugula

  • 1 1/4 cups grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a pie plate, toast 3 tablespoons of the pine nuts until lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the fusilli until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water, then drain again; transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the cilantro with the basil, oregano and garlic and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup of pine nuts and process until smooth. Season the herb dressing with salt and pepper.

  4. Toss the fusilli with the toasted pine nuts, arugula, tomatoes, red onion and the herb dressing. Season the pasta salad with salt and pepper and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Herbal, lightly nutty Gavi.

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