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Vegetarian Pasta Salad

Far from the standard American pasta salad, August grew up with something more Mediterranean-inspired.  Her mom would usually add chicken or shrimp, but this mix can also be made like a side dish or a vegetarian option when meat is omitted.  Pine nuts are also a great touch, if the mood strikes you.

Makes a boatload

16 oz. of preferred pasta noodles (pictured here are mini farfalle)

1 green zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

25 grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1/2 of an extra large red onion, slivered very thinly

1 small can of pitted and sliced black olives

1/4 cup of grated or shaved parmesan cheese

1/4 cup of olive oil

2 tbs. of balsamic vinegar

5 basil leaves, chiffonade (very tiny ribbons)

1 tbs. of capers, roughly chopped

1/2 tsp. of dried oregano

1/2 tsp. of dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta al dente.  Strain and rinse with cold water to take away any excess starch.  Let cool.

making the vinaigrette

making the vinaigrette

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, salt, and pepper.  Also add the oregano and thyme, crushing with your fingers to activate the oils in the herbs.  Whisk together until completely emulsified.

fresh vegetables

fresh vegetables

Once you have prepared your vegetables, toss them with the pasta, vinaigrette, and parmesan cheese.  Keep and serve cold.

done and yum

done and yum