Climbing Everest can’t be easy, tying cherry stems in your mouth sure isn’t easy, even fifth-grade homework is less than easy. Let me tell you what is easy? Making pasta salad.
Don’t always assume that pasta has to be warm and served under an ocean of sauce, although stop the bus, that’s a swell idea just like this sausage pasta bake. I know I know…it’s fall and there’s a pumpkin pandemic all over Pinterest, but here in California we’re still melting.
So to help keep the internal temperature of my house not feel like a Swedish sauna, cold pasta salad is helpful.
The rest of the ingredients came mainly from pillaging the fridge.
I think the only item I had to buy was the kalamata olives and pasta. Roasted green beans with whole garlic cloves at 7a.m confused the kids, but the end result was that they liked the salad.
Can I give you guys a quick pasta tip? If you’re using it for a salad like this, make sure to rinse it with cold water after it cooks. This will take away most of the starch and you should get a less sticky pasta. Don’t rinse it if you’re adding it to a hot sauce like alfredo or bolognese though because the starch will help the sauce stick to the pasta.
Kalamata olives pitted because we don’t want anyone losing a tooth on an olive pit and crunchy chopped pecans blend well with the salty feta cheese and sundried tomatoes.
A glug of good olive oil would get you by, but the dressing is so easy to make, especially with Dijon mustard and tarragon.
You could be a real pasta salad expert and add grilled chicken, giant seasoned shrimp or keep it veggie friendly with slices of balsamic grilled portobello mushrooms.
Toss the whole pasta party ingredients together and serve it up in one giant bowl.
Sprinkle with a good handful of chopped pecans and salty feta and call it a day.
- Make The Dressing!
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- For The Salad!
- 1 pound uncooked pasta
- 1/2- pound green beans
- 6-7 cloves peeled garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup sliced sundried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
- 3/4 cup kalamata olives pitted and halved
- 1 1/2 cups Feta cheese
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Preheat the oven to 395 degrees F.
Make the dressing by combing all of the ingredients in a jar or container with a lid and shaking vigorously.
Trim the ends of the green beans halving any large ones and place on a baking tray with the garlic cloves.
Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Bring a large 4 qt pot of water to a rolling boil and add the pasta to it.
Cook the pasta as per the directions on the box.
Drain the pasta once it's done into a colander and rinse with cold water.
Transfer the pasta back into the pot it was cooked in.
Add the cooled green beans and garlic to the pasta.
Add the sundried tomatoes, green onions, olives and 1 cup of the Feta cheese to the pasta.
Pour in about half of the dressing and stir to combine.
Taste the pasta and add more of the dressing if needed. Keep any leftover dressing in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Serve family style and garnish with the remaining feta and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.