This is another great pasta salad recipe from Epicurious. I didn’t deviate from it too much. I changed some of the proportions for the dressing, and substituted chives for the green onions (sometimes green onions can be really overwhelming).
Also, the recipe calls for red cherry tomatoes and for red bell pepper, but as I prefer more contrasting colors, I opted for the deliciously sugar-sweet Sun Gold.
For the dressing:
7 tablespoons of good extra-virgin olive oil
The juice of two lemons
The zest of two lemons
1 fat clove of garlic, grated
1 to 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons of coarse-grain Dijon mustard
For the rest:
1 pound of penne
1 pint of Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, quartered (or halved if they are small)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup of crumbled French feta (I sometimes find Greek feta too salty)
1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
How to prepare:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook it until it is al dente.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the ingredients for the dressing together in a large mixing bowl. A Microplane grater is terrific for both the lemon zest, and for grating the garlic.
3. When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse it with cold water to cool it down quickly. Drain the pasta again and add it to the dressing, along with the tomatoes and the bell pepper. Toss all of the ingredients together, making sure that the pasta is well-coated. Add the crumbled cheese and the chives. Toss again. The cheese, the chives, and the vegetables should be evenly distributed throughout the salad. Adjust the seasoning if needed (depending on how salty the mustard and the feta are, you might not have to).
Pack it up for the party, or eat it immediately.