In summer, despite the heat, we get a yen for pasta that isn’t a cold, pasta salad. Here’s a different take on a summer pasta treat, hot pasta with fresh tomatoes and feta cheese! Because of the natural saltiness of the feta, I don’t salt the cooking water of the pasta (salting the water slows down it coming to the boil) but I do add a dash of olive oil or a smidge of butter to the boiling water just before I add the pasta.
That way, when I add the pasta and stir it around, a minute bit of fat surrounds the pasta so it doesn’t stick. You won’t notice it in the pasta and it adds so little to the fat and calorie count as to be negligible (unless you are heavy handed – notice I said a dash or a smidge!).
This is quick and easy – and fresh. Add some crusty garlic bread or bread sticks and a Merlot or Zinfindel — some gelato for dessert and…buon appetito!
Summer Pasta with Feta Cheese
- 9 c rotelle pasta, cooked (or other shaped, cut pasta like rigatoni, zitti, etc.)
- 12 – 16 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or 4 large ripe tomatoes, cut in 1/2 ” cubes
- 12 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 c fresh basil, coarsely chopped (more for garnish, optional)
- 3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese, optional
Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes feta, chopped basil, garlic and olive oil and pepper. ** Mix well and set aside.
When pasta is finished cooking, drain well. Combine with tomato mixture and toss so that pasta and tomato mixture and well combined. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.
** Salt can added but since feta is a very salty cheese, I don’t add it to the tomato mixture or to the water boiling the pasta. You can if you wish.