Pasta salad has been a dietary staple in my life since childhood (I am a child of the 90’s let’s remember). “Macaroni salad” as we called it, was the junky BBQ sidekick put out with the potato, coleslaw and ambrosia salads… you know, your mayonnaise and cool whip basics.
My dad started making a more sophisticated version when we were a little older and it quickly became a family favourite. Rotini noodles with Greek salad veggies and a vinaigrette dressing sounds pretty basic but it was the height of culinary sophistication as far as my 14 year old palette was concerned.
Now I make it for my son as an easy weeknight meal and I’ve added my own spin to it, cus ya know. Evolution is important.
I prefer bow tie noodles, and Luca loves him some chickpeas so no salad is complete without them. I frequently cheat and use the store-bought Greek dressing which is absolutely, 100% A-OK, but if you’re feeling fancy I also have a homemade favourite which, if I’m entertaining on the weekends, is my go-to. It’s lemony and herby and tangy. Perfection.
This meal is also perfect for summer because it requires almost no heat. You literally only use the oven burner to cook the pasta and the whole meal takes all of 20 minutes to make. Add to that a glass (or two, or three) of rosé, and you can chalk this up to a #momwin and tonight’s dinner menu!
Ingredients – the salad
- 1 box Pasta (this really is a preference thing… whatever you like will work)
- 1 carton Ripe vine or cherry tomatoes
- 1 whole Cucumber
- 1 can (or cup of fresh) Olives
- 1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 whole Green and/or red and/or yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 Red onion (if that’s your jam. it ain’t mine)
- 1 can Chickpeas, rinsed
- ¼ cup white wine, dry-variety
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 medium uncooked shallot(s), minced, or more to taste
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground