Friday, July 2, 2010

4th of July and Pasta Salad

Happy 4th of July!

The 4th of July means a lot of things to a lot of people.  To me, it means that I'm happy to be an American.  It also means cookout food, specifically pasta salad.  Have you ever been to a 4th of July cookout that doesn't have at least 3 different types of pasta salad?

It’s one those dishes that everyone loves, anyone can make, and no cookout should be without. I have a killer recipe that you can’t go wrong with for a greek-style pasta salad.  It’s so easy and there is no doubt it will bring in rave reviews.

You’ll need:

1 package of tri-colored rotini
1 bottle of Yassou! greek salad dressing (No substitutes unless you absolutely can’t find it at your grocery store)
1 Green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 14 oz package of feta in brine (I always get the feta blocks myself.   Steer clear of pre-crumbled feta because it tends to be a bit dry and NEVER get reduced fat… life is too short to eat flavorless feta)
S & P
Olive Oil

Cook the rotini to the package directions, drain and run cold water over the pasta.

Warm olive oil in a frying pan/skillet over medium-high heat (two rounds around the pan will be enough oil).  When the oil is hot, you’ll be able to smell it, add in ½ of the diced green pepper and ½ of the diced onion.  Sauté until the onions are translucent.  Stir often and don’t burn the onions – if you do, get another onion and pepper and start over, burnt onions ruin a dish. 

Meanwhile, in a big bowl (or direct to Tupperware if you’re taking the dish on the road), combine the pasta, the rest of the diced onion and pepper, and crumble up the feta into tiny tiny crumbles.  Add the sautéed veggies when they’re done. 

Pour the entire bottle of Yassou over the pasta, veggies, and feta (shake first!) and give it a little S&P.  Mix it up well and then chill it for at least an hour.

It’s so simple but so good!