Here we go with another installment of Feed My Brother! For those new to the nomad loop, this is an ode to my recently “out of the parents’ house” brother who is always in need of easy-to-make food that will keep him off the instant ramen aisle and out of Taco Bell.
A couple years ago, I threw a bon voyage soiree to signify my last visit to Texas soil before moving to Amsterdam. No one is too old for a pinata! I got a cookie monster one, as i thought it was well suited.
The theme was “favorite foods”. So I asked a few of the attendees for their favorite dishes so the spread would be eclectic. And what did my brother request? Pasta salad. Really? Really. As I don’t like mayonnaise, the token pasta salad ingredient, I naturally recoiled. And yes, I understand I’m committing a great cardinal sin by not liking mayonnaise while considering myself a serious food fan. We can still be friends, can’t we?
In efforts to create a mayo-less pasta salad that would expand his repertoire and inspire him to actually make it on his own from time to time, this Greek-ish version was created. Most of the Greek salad usual suspects are present: Kalamata olives, Feta cheese, red onion, red wine vinegar and olive oil with some added flavor from cherry tomatoes and rosemary. The thick penne soaks up the vinaigrette making it akin to…well…heaven. He went nuts for it. And has made some version, as he remembers it, many times since, which was the goal. Here it is on paper, well virtual paper. And without mayo, it can sit out at a picnic without risk of future health repercussions or potential lawsuits.
A little aside
When I made this dish for this post, I was hoping to stretch it’s use over a couple days to give myself a tiny cooking break. But after the significant other came home and had a taste, it soon became pre-dinner, actual dinner then midnight snack then breakfast. Resistance was futile. If only a pot existed big enough to make a double batch, it might have lasted longer than one night.
Greek-ish Pasta Salad Recipe
1 lb penne or farfalle (any short cut pasta will do)
1/2 c. kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if larger than a sensible bite size
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 small red onion, small dice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Cook penne until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Mix salt, black pepper, vinegar and oil together. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Eat! How flippin’ easy is that. It gets tastier and tastier after it sits in the fridge.