• Invitation Oxford

Colorful Pasta Salad

Sweet and salty meet in this colorful pasta salad. Serve warm or cold at suppertime, or take it along on a weekend picnic. To allow the flavors to really meld, make it the day before and store in the fridge overnight before serving. Read more of Lauren McElwain’s recipes at invitationmag.com/food-blog or thefiligreefig.wordpress.com


Recipe and photo by Lauren McElwain



  • 2/3 box of penne pasta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 3-4 slices pancetta or bacon

  • 1 tablespoon cracked red pepper

  • 1 bunch fresh kale, stems removed and chopped

  • 1 cup shredded carrots

  • 1 cup feta cheese

  • 1 cup sliced grapes

  • 1 cup sliced almonds (toasted)

  • ½ cup garlic vinaigrette (recipe below)


Cook pasta according to instructions on box, strain and set aside.


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic, pancetta and cracked red pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the kale, and stir-fry until it has reached desired tenderness. Remove from heat.


In a decorative bowl, combine the pasta with the kale mixture, and add the remaining ingredients, including the garlic vinaigrette (recipe below). Stir to combine.


Serve warm or cold, topped with more cracked red pepper and/or a drizzle of honey for added sweetness.


Garlic Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Splash of red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Whisk together all ingredients until well blended.

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Oxford, Mississippi | United States

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