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Mediterranean Greek Pasta Salad
This refreshing salad, which can be made with any short cut of pasta, takes advantage of fresh tomatoes and herbs. Feta cheese can be omitted or replaced with a dairy-free cheese replacement.
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) package small pasta shells, penne or elbows, under cooked by 2-3 minutes
¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
¾ cup roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese or dairy- free cheese replacement, optional
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
¼ cup good-quality olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh or dry oregano
2 teaspoons fresh or dry basil
1 teaspoon sugar
-Salt, to taste
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and add pasta. Undercook pasta by 2 to 3 minutes or until it’s opaque but firm. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Return to pot.
2. Add olives, tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese (if used), 2 teaspoons thyme and 1 tablespoon basil to drained pasta, tossing to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle dressing over pasta, tossing gently until ingredients are evenly coated. Taste before adding salt and pepper, as feta and olives are salty. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill for 2 hours or let sit at room temperature until ready to serve. Leftover salad will keep for one day in the refrigerator.
Each serving contains 305 calories, 16g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 17mg cholesterol, 358mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 4g protein.
TIP To make salad ahead, toss pasta with 2 tablespoons additional olive oil and refrigerate 2 to 8 hours. Combine remaining salad ingredients in a separate bowl and refrigerate. When ready to serve, assemble salad and toss with dressing.