Meatless Monday Challenge

Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

on September 18, 2020
last updated May 9, 2023
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This Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes combines sweet sherry and savory cheese with garlic and fresh roasted tomatoes to make a simple, flavorful dish that's easy to whip up and can be served hot or cold.
Bow Tie Pasta Salad with roasted grape tomatoes and sherry cooking wine

Looking for an easy crowd-pleasing pasta salad? This Bow Tie Pasta Salad is packed with flavor from roasted grape tomatoes, sherry cooking wine, and goat cheese. Plus, the fresh spinach and crunchy walnuts add crisp textural elements for an overall amazing bite.

It’s versatility, relative ease, and sheer abundance are only half the reasons I love this vegetarian pasta recipe—the real magic lies in its complex flavor!

Close up of Bow Tie Pasta Salad

As an environmental scientist, I am always trying to make eco-conscious food choices. One easy way to improve your ecological footprint is by finding ways to enjoy more meatless meals.

Green tip: Industrial meat production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Bow Tie Pasta Salad Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Bow tie pasta. Aka Farfalle. This is my favorite pasta shape for this recipe, but truly any short pasta will work.
  • Grape tomatoes. Or cherry tomatoes! Cherry tomatoes are slightly sweeter, but grape tomatoes have a longer shelf life and are more readily available and easier to find.
  • Garlic. To roast with the tomatoes and add tons of flavor.
  • Olive oil, salt & pepper. To roast your grape tomatoes and garlic in.
  • Spinach. Baby or regular; you’ll be chopping it up. For freshness and color.
  • Sherry cooking wine. For subtle sweetness.
  • Goat cheese. For the perfect amount of tang. You can use plain, honey, or even herbed goat cheese.
  • Walnuts. Or almonds, pecans, or macadamia nuts for a little crunch. Shelled and unsalted preferred.
ingredients for bow tie pasta - walnuts, spinach, farfalle, salt, goat cheese, sherry cooking wine, olive oil, garlic, grape tomatoes

Sherry Bow Tie Pasta Tips and Tricks


How to Mince Garlic for Pasta Salad

Using fresh minced garlic goes a long way in this bow tie pasta salad recipe. In order to mince your fresh garlic, you have to peel it first.

My go-to technique for peeling the outer layer off the garlic is by crushing it first. Simply place your individual garlic cloves on your cutting board and use the flat end of your knife to push down on the garlic until you hear it crunch.

This just cracks open the outer layer, making it much easier for you to peel it back. Once you’ve completely peeled your garlic, you can then easily mince it with a sharp knife.

Crushing garlic peel to remove outer layer

How to Roast Grape Tomatoes

If necessary. rinse and dry your grape tomatoes. You can do this ahead of time or you can rinse and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Use a sharp knife to slice your grape tomatoes in half lengthwise. If you don’t have a specific tomato knife, you may find it easier to use a serrated knife. Or you can use the tip of the knife to pierce the skin of the tomato, making it easier to slice it.

Once you’ve sliced your tomatoes in half, add them to a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your freshly minced garlic.

Use clean hands to toss the grape tomatoes in the oil and seasonings, ensuring they are completely coated. Then, roast them at 420°F for about 10 minutes, until their skin starts to wrinkle and the juice starts to burst.

Slicing grape tomatoes in half
Coating grape tomatoes in olive oil

Don’t Overcook Your Pasta

Follow the directions on the box to cook the pasta al dente, and make sure to time yourself! We want it to lend the perfect texture in contrast to the silky goat cheese and soft roasted tomatoes.

Especially if you’re enjoying this dish cold, you’ll be glad you got that al dente bite.

Green tip: Pasta is a great meal option carbon footprint-wise! Manufacturing pasta is a relatively less intensive process, using less energy and other natural resources to produce than most other starches. Plus, its long shelf-life means you’re less likely to waste it!

Work Quickly, While the Pasta is Still Hot

After cooking and draining your pasta, add it to a large salad bowl or serving bowl. Work quickly to add the sherry cooking wine and the chopped spinach, while the pasta is still hot.

Tossing the pasta in the sherry and the spinach while it’s still hot will ensure that the pasta does not stick together as it cools and dries, and will slightly wilt the spinach from the residual heat of the pasta.

If your grape tomatoes are ready, you can add them right away, too. If they’re not, that’s okay! Just make sure to get the sherry cooking wine and spinach in the mix right away.

Adding sherry cooking wine to Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Add Your Goat Cheese and Nuts Last

Goat cheese packs a lot of punch with its unique flavor, and it complements the sherry in this so well. It’s a little different from other cheeses in that it doesn’t melt the same.

I just use my hands to crumble it into smaller dollops and add it to the pasta. That way you get a little bit of its explosive flavor in every bite.

Add this point, add the chopped walnuts, too. Toss it all together so everything is well-combined.

Two plates of Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Storing Leftover Bow Tie Pasta Salad

In the refrigerator in an airtight container, leftover pasta salad with bow tie pasta will last for about 3-5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Leftovers are best enjoyed cold. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before digging in.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? Limit your contribution to food waste by properly storing, reheating, and enjoying leftovers!

Pasta Salad with Bow Tie Pasta Frequently Asked Questions


How long do you boil bow tie pasta?

For the best al dente bow tie pasta, bring 10 cups of water to a rolling boil. Boil the bow tie pasta for 8 minutes, then taste one. If it’s still a little too underdone, give it up to 3 more minutes to cook.

Why You Make This Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes


  • It’s versatile. Eat it hot for dinner or cold as a perfect pasta salad side.
  • It’s balanced. Sweetness from sherry, saltiness from goat cheese, bitterness from tomatoes, freshness from spinach, and nuttiness from walnuts. Everything you could ever want!
  • It’s easy. Ten ingredients, half of which you probably already have in your pantry and no sifting, whisking, kneading, or grating. All you need is a couple of pots and an oven!
  • It will feed you for days. My husband and I are known to have huge appetites and we STILL have leftovers.
  • The textures are amazing. You get a burst of flavor from those roasted tomatoes, creaminess from the goat cheese, and crunch from the walnuts all in one dynamic bite.
  • It’s vibrant. The colors pop making it a potluck dish you can be proud of.
  • It’s adaptable. Sub in a plant-based cheese (I use Kite Hill Cream Cheese) to make it vegan, and omit the nuts for allergies.

If you’re looking for more awesome pasta salad recipes, check out this Canned Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad and Sweet & Salty Rainbow Orzo Pasta Salad.

Bow Tie Pasta Salad with roasted grape tomatoes and sherry cooking wine

Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

5 from 6 votes
Marley Goldin
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This Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes combines sweet sherry and savory cheese with garlic and fresh roasted tomatoes to make a simple, flavorful dish that's easy to whip up and can be served hot or cold.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound Farfalle (aka bow tie pasta)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ¼ cup Sherry cooking wine
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • ¼ cup walnuts
Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 420°F and boil 10 cups of water in a large pot.
  • Prep your ingredients by slicing your grape tomatoes in half lengthwise, peeling and mincing your garlic, and chopping your spinach and walnuts.
    Minced garlic, sliced grape tomatoes, chopped spinach, and chopped walnuts
  • Place the grape tomatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic and toss to coat. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 12-15 minutes until they start to wrinkle and burst.
    Roasting grape tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic
  • Once water is boiling, cook the pasta al dente according to the directions on the box. Drain the pasta and add it to a large salad or serving bowl.
  • While the pasta is still hot, quickly add the sherry cooking wine, spinach, and roasted tomatoes and garlic. Toss so that the sherry coats the pasta before it sticks together, and the spinach slightly wilts from the heat of the pasta.
  • Crumble the goat cheese on top and add the walnuts. Toss one last time to evenly distribute. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!
    Tossing bow tie pasta with roasted grape tomatoes, spinach, goat cheese, and walnuts

Pro Tips

  • This dish can be served hot for dinner or cold as a nice side dish pasta salad.
  • Make it your own! Sub your favorite nut for walnuts or use breadcrumbs for a little crunch. Make it vegan with Kite Hill Cream Cheese. Chuck some basil in for herbaceous aromatics. This pasta is SO versatile!
  • Reducing your meat consumption significantly reduces your carbon footprint. Be kind to the planet (as well as your tastebuds!) with more of these delicious meatless pasta meals.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Easy, Pasta, Sherry Bow Tie Pasta, Tomato
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