When you prepare salads for a party, particularly ones that will likely be outdoors and in warm weather, you may prefer to dress them with a vinaigrette of some kind rather than a mayonnaise based dressing. With this pasta salad, we gave it a Middle Eastern flavor profile with the addition of chickpeas, za'atar and a touch of tahini in the vinaigrette that you will absolutely love it.
1. Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Stir in the rinsed and drained chickpeas and the baby spinach leaves. Note that the residual heat of the pasta will cook the spinach down a bit.
2. Make the dressing by whisking together minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, sesame paste, water, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, black pepper and salt.
3. Toss the pasta, spinach and chickpeas with the dressing and serve at room temperature.