Spicy Orzo Pasta Salad is the most delicious way to use cherry tomatoes - especially if they're homegrown! Orzo pasta tossed with sweet roasted tomatoes, fresh spinach, toasted walnuts then seasoned with lemon and harissa to create a spicy and sweet pasta salad with a nutty crunch.
Heat oven to 400 F. Pop the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 5 minutes while the oven is heating. Don't forget to set a timer - nuts can burn so quickly!
On a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet, combine sliced tomatoes with 1 Tbs olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes until juicy and starting to brown.
While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions. Approx. 8 min.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl. While the pasta is still warm, add 1.5 Tbs olive oil, zest of 1 lemon, juice of half a lemon, garlic, 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and harissa seasoning. Mix well.
Add chopped spinach and walnuts. Gently mix.
Add roasted tomatoes with their juices. Toss to combine.
Top with shredded parmesan cheese.
Serve warm or room temperature.
*Options: add grilled chicken or roasted chickpeas for extra protein.