This pasta salad is one of my favorites to make and take to a potluck, picnic or BBQ. Not only is this recipe easy to follow, but the flavor is much more complex than your average cold pasta salad.  I followed Ina Garten’s recipe but with a few adjustments.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta (I used Cellentani pasta just because I think it’s prettier)
  • Kosher salt
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
  • 3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
  • 1 pound good feta cheese, medium-diced (I didn’t use a pound of feta.  Just one small package)
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I omitted this)
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, feta and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

In addition to chopped tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, parsley and kalmata olives, I added half of a sliced red onion and 1 minced garlic clove.

Chop feta into cubes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

For some heat, I added several pinches of crushed red pepper before whizzing away all my ingredients for the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and parsley, and toss well.

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