Friday, August 11, 2017

ITALIAN ORZO PASTA SALAD

Summer is the perfect time for cool pasta salads. This salad transports perfectly for a picnic or just a nice barbecue in your own back yard. You can make this a Greek pasta salad by substituting the mozzarella for feta cheese and the Italian olives for Kalamata olives.


2 cups dried orzo pasta
½ cup Italian olives or other black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
¼ cup deli pepper rings or mild banana pepper rings, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
8 oz fresh cherry bocconcini, drained or fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T champagne or white wine vinegar
1 t dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
¼ cup chopped basil
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Cook orzo in salted water until al dente (about 9 minutes).
Drain in a colander and run cold water over pasta. Let drain again.
Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl.

Add the olives, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
Lightly toss to combine.

In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, vinegar, and oregano.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour over the pasta and add the parsley, basil, and Parmigiano cheese.
Toss again to combine and let sit covered for at least 15 minutes, for flavors to develop.


Serves 6

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