This week IBC has been all about decorating, entertaining, and cooking for fall. We kicked off the week with my Fall Entertaining-Around-My-House Tour. Yesterday we baked pumpkin donuts, and today we’re mixing up a Fall Harvest Pasta Salad.
(Also, don’t forget to enter to win the $100 HomeGoods gift card! Click HERE to enter.)
Channeling my inner Elle Woods, I’d like to say that, “Whoever said pasta salad was just for summer was seriously disturbed.” With roasted sweet potatoes, pine nuts, dried cranberries, broccoli, and goat cheese, this salad has quickly become a new fall favorite at my house. After whipping it up last week, I found myself snacking on it for three days in a row. I was sad when it was gone.
My inspiration for this Fall Harvest Pasta Salad was this bag of colorful pasta from HomeGoods. The variety of colors made me think of autumn. I also love this type of pasta, known as Cellentani (corkscrew), because the curls and hollow centers hold lots of yummy sauce.
If you can’t find this specific type of pasta, don’t worry. Any tricolored or multi-colored pasta will work just fine.
All of the other ingredients in this salad are fall-inspired ones that work well together. The dried cranberries are great for adding just a touch of tart sweetness. This balances perfectly with the creamy goat cheese. Even if you’re skeptical of goat cheese, give it a try in this recipe. I think you’ll quickly become a fan.
I also love any excuse to use toasted pine nuts. They add a nutty crunch which is so good in any pasta salad.
Speaking of goat cheese, since it’s a softer cheese, you’ll want to mix it in last to keep the crumbles intact.
For the dressing, I opted for a store-bought poppy seed. You can use your favorite brand or mix up your own. With its slightly creamy quality, this dressing worked extremely well and tasted delicious.
Let’s whip up a big bowl of this fall deliciousness.
Here's what you will need:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 pound multi-colored pasta
3 cups broccoli, chopped (about 1-inch pieces)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup poppy seed dressing
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Place the sweet potato pieces on a large baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then toss. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. You'll want the pasta to be al dente. Drain the pasta, allow it to cool, and place it in a large bowl.
To the bowl of pasta, add the roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, dried cranberries, pine nuts, and red onions. Toss with the poppy seed dressing until evenly coated. Crumble in the goat cheese and gently stir again until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Stir before serving, adding more dressing if needed.
This dish is pretty straightforward. It’s one of those simple and classic recipes we come to love and go back to time and again.
I hope you’ll give this salad a try this fall. And when you do, be sure to swing back and let us know what you think. Enjoy!