06-22-14-pasta-salad One of the Rites of Summer is a bottomless bowl of pasta salad in the ‘fridge. I usually leave the pasta-salad-making to Victor, since he’s such a whiz at pulling odds and ends together to make delicious dishes. Pasta salads in their most basic form, are clean-out-the-refrigerator items. We don’t go to the store and buy things to make a pasta salad, we open up the refrigerator and start pulling things out that need using up. I mean… there’s always some sort of pasta in the cabinet, there are always vegetables, there are always cans of tuna, a jar of roasted red peppers… Olives – jarred or canned. And this salad has the distinction of being the first dish where we used our Sicilian olive oil… We only brought home a liter – fresh-pressed right up the road from us. I wish we had a way of getting more. And more. It was only €10 per liter – less expensive than Colavita. And absolutely delicious. Grassy-green sweet, mild but rich and full-bodied. Delish. It will be gone soon enough, but we’re going to take full advantage of it while it’s here.

Pasta Salad

[unordered_list style=”bullet”]

  • cooked pasta
  • eggplant
  • roasted red pepper
  • sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • fresh tomatoes
  • garlic
  • cannellini beans
  • tuna in olive oil
  • black olives
  • bell pepper
  • celery
  • red onion
  • freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, and cool. Chop everything and mix with pasta. Drizzle with olive oil, to taste. Stir in cheese. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

Every batch is slightly different, depending upon the items in the ‘fridge. Any and all fresh vegetables – broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, squash, whatever – can and should be used. Add some fresh herbs if you like. There are no rules. And no matter how you do it, it’s going to come out great!