1 lb. of your favorite pasta (bowties, shells, rotini, penne all work great with this)
15-20 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 small red or orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 small cucumbers or 1 medium, roughly chopped
4 scallions, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup fresh parmesan or pecorino romano cheese (I have the already shredded stuff here, but if I use it off the block, I use a vegetable peeler and peel off pieces, or the point of a sharp knife and pluck small chunks off)
Juice of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. crushed red peppers
Cook pasta according to package directions, being sure to salt the water well. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Add pasta to a large bowl. Add all the chopped vegetables and cheese to the bowl of pasta.
In a mason jar or a measuring cup, combine the dressing ingredients and mix well, shaking or whisking.
Pour dressing over pasta and vegetables. Toss gently to combine everything. Cover and chill for at least one hour and then serve. You can make this the day before and let it chill overnight. The longer this sits the better it tastes.
I sometimes add salami, fresh mozzarella or black olives to this salad. You could also add chopped artichoke hearts or pepperoncinis. Play around with it and add/omit what you like; you really can't go wrong.
Until next time...
Lady by the Bay