Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pioneer Woman: Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini and Feta

I meant to serve this with the Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork, but corn on the cob was on sale and calling my name, so I skipped this and made the corn with the pork. That means this is being served with chicken tomorrow night.  Here's the preview before the actual meal.

PW Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Feta

Verdict: easy, pretty, and decently flavorful as I write this -- update to come
Cook it again:  sure.  It's nice to throw together as a quick side.
Cost factor:  $7-ish, but I got the feta half price at Publix, and already had the lemon and tomatoes, so probably closer to $12 if you have to buy everything.

This is a basic, simple (SIMPLE!) recipe.

I still managed to mess it up.

Here's what you do:

Cook up some farfalle pasta.  It's supposed to be 12 ounces.  I paid no attention to how many ounces I cooked.  16?  No idea.

Drain it, rinse it until it's cool, then drizzle with 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil and the juice of a whole lemon.

Well, I kinda forgot to rinse it -- because I never, ever rinse my pasta -- and added the "EVOO," as Rachael Ray calls it.

So, then I rinsed it.

I'm pretty sure that the water didn't wash off the oil, but still.  Duh.

(Side note:  I'm a little tired of all the EVOO in recipes everywhere.  I don't always think whatever it is you're cooking needs the strong EVOO flavor compared to just using regular olive oil, or even a lighter oil.  But I went with it in the spirit of trying to not take too many liberties with this recipe, because ...)

...I knew I wasn't going to add the Zucchini (yes, despite the fact that it's in the very title of the recipe).  I'm pretty sure everyone but Mick would pick it out.  For future reference, not that you necessarily care, I don't eat anything in the squash family.  Not pumpkin, not squash, not zucchini, not eggplant.  I don't like the texture or the taste.  One time at the Marriott at Logan Airport, Mick and I had a nice gourmet dinner before we flew out the next morning, and what I thought were potatoes were some sort of mini squash and they were delicious, but other than that, I don't like them. Not in casseroles, not in mashed form, not in spaghetti form, not camoflaged in baked goods a la Jessica Seinfeld, not at all.  So, no zucchini. No soup for you!

Other than that, you take a tub of grape tomatoes, try to not eat too many of them, slice them long-ways and put them in.

Then the same with some crumbled feta.  I used the entire little tub.

Then -- mistake number two -- you're supposed to add half a cup of freshly chopped parsley.  I didn't have any on hand and I completely forgot that when you substitute dried herbs you don't use nearly as much as the recipe calls for.  Or more accurately, I didn't forget, but I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing at all, and I read half cup, and measured half a cup without so much as thinking about the fact that I was making a substitution.  So, more like space-cadeted rather than forgot.


As I type this, our zucchini-less, over-parsleyed pasta salad sits in the fridge getting ready for tomorrow night's dinner.

Mick and I tasted it, of course.  It's not all marinated yet and the flavors haven't quite married the way they will overnight, but it's decent and it's barely been done five minutes.  Certainly quick and easy and looks oh-so-pretty with our multi-colored bow ties.  I'm actually pretty excited to see how it all comes together tomorrow.

I'll update this after our dinner tomorrow, and at that point I'll throw in some photos, too.


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