I love summer. Between my garden and the farmer’s markets, fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs abound! There is nothing more spectacular then plucking vegetables and herbs right from the garden, eating them within minutes still warm from the sun’s rays. The key to this salad is to always use the freshest and finest ingredients you can get — fresh basil is a must as is good quality extra virgin olive oil. I have been making this particular pasta salad for so long I can’t remember when or where it originated. I know my mother and sisters all make variations of this dish, sometimes with blue cheese or even brie. And though I call this dish Summer Pasta Salad, I do make it in the winter months. It is never quite as good as when I am able to go outside into my garden, pinch some fresh basil leaves and pluck some cherry tomates right off the vine minutes before making the salad. Oh, how I love summer! Enjoy the pasta salad for dinner tonight but save the leftovers for quick, easy lunch tomorrow!
Make the penne pasta according to package’s directions. While the pasta is cooking, slice your cherry tomatoes, cut your basil, cube your feta cheese and slice your scallions.
Put the ingredients in a large serving bowl and mix in one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the crushed garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. When the pasta is done cooking, quickly add it to the bowl along with one more tablespoon of olive oil stirring all the ingredients together. Adjust salt and pepper as desired.
The Summer Pasta Salad is now ready to serve! It can be eaten hot or cold — either way is delicious! Garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a little parmesan cheese.
Box of Penne Pasta, cooked as directed
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ cup fresh basil, cut into pieces
1 cup feta cheese, cubed
4-6 scallions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
¼ tea black pepper
½ tea salt
Basil leaf and parmesan for garnish
Makes roughly 8 servings depending on portion size.