Monday, January 23, 2006

Tasty Pasta Salad

1 kilo (uncooked) pasta -- any shape will do, I like fusilli

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 can black olives, drained (actually I usually use Kalamata)
~4oz sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
~8oz feta, crumbled
1/4 cup fesh basil, chopped (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 cup RAW pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Generous amount of capers ("to taste")
Salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Freshly grated parmesian, romano, or other hard, salty cheese, to taste

Cook the pasta in salted water. Drain and rinse if desired. While the pasta is cooking, prep all the other ingredients. In a large bowl, combine everything, tossing well. Add the salt last -- you will need much less than you might expect (in fact, you might not even want to add salt at all).

I hate to sound like Rachel Ray here, but "the secret ingredient is nutmeg." I've been eating variants of this for years, and it wasn't until today that I added nutmeg. It made a huge difference! I like this salad because I can make it in the winter (most of the ingredients are canned) without sacrificing quality, and because I can make a big vat of it and eat it over the course of a couple of weeks.


jonathan said...

Sounds very delicious! It seems that this a kind of potluck-lunch style take on the Greek horiatiki salad, which would explain why the nutmeg went along with it so naturally. You should try mixing the tiniest bit of cinnamon in with the nutmeg – in traditional Greek cooking, you can't have one without the other!

Laurel said...

I abuse cinnamon, I'm trying to move away from adding it to goddamn everything.