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Early Summer Pasta Salad

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July 5, 2011 by Sara Kreidler

We brought home some zucchini and yellow squash from the farmer’s market in West Virginia, only to find more zucchini and yellow squash waiting for us from the CSA.  I made this pasta salad for our little cookout on the 4th in an effort to use up some of the zucchini and yellow squash stash.

If you’ve never eaten zucchini or yellow squash raw, try this pasta salad — you’ll love how fresh it tastes.  You can easily change up the ratio  and/or types of veggies (experiment based upon what you have on hand — use all zucchini or all yellow squash, more tomatoes, add onion), or substitute parsley or other fresh herbs for the basil.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bowtie pasta (or other short shape pasta)
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 small yellow squash
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.  Transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Quarter the zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise, then cut the quarters into bite sized pieces.  Cut the grape tomatoes in half lengthwise.  Layer the basil leaves one on top of the other, then roll into a cigar shape and slice thinly into strips.  Set cut vegetables and basil aside.
  3. Cut the lemons in half and juice 3 of the 4 lemon halves over a measuring cup; remove any seeds that fall into the cup.  Reserve the remaining half of a lemon for extra dressing if needed (and if not needed, use it to make a vodka tonic with lemon to drink outside in the sun while the pasta salad marinates in the fridge).  Add olive oil to the lemon juice and whisk with a fork until blended.  Pour dressing over pasta and add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix until pasta is well coated with dressing.
  4. Add zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, basil, and feta to the dressed pasta and mix well to combine. Add more salt, pepper, lemon juice and/or olive oil if needed.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
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