Recipe of the Week

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This recipe originally appeared on More Quiche, Please, a kosher vegetarian cooking blog by Tali Simon. Tali left U.S. News & World Report to move to Israel in 2010. She is now a happily settled writer, editor, and food blogger living near the Dead Sea. She loves to cook, and her skinny husband loves to eat. It works well. 

Some recipes are really easy. Others are really pretty. Then there are the ones that taste good every time. This one? It's all three.

It's fun to make fancy dishes and desserts, but more often than not, I'm just looking for dinner ideas that come together quickly. Which is why I like this one so much. It's about as quick as you can get.

Just prep the veggies and dressing while the pasta cooks, then toss it all together and let those hot noodles soak up all the flavor. Oh, and top with sesame seeds. I have a thing for sesame seeds.

You may be tempted to add other things to this pasta salad -- more veggies, maybe some cubed cheese. That's your call. I stick with just the two mix-ins to keep prep time to a minimum. Besides, when the dish isn't overcrowded with other stuff, the tomatoes and scallions get a chance to shine.

I've tried serving this pasta salad hot, cold, the day of, and a day later. The verdict? The flavors are best when you eat it right away. The longer it sits in the fridge, the weaker the dressing gets.

And I know you wouldn't want that to happen.

I've listed ingredient amounts in the recipe below, but really, this is not an exact science. Just go with your personal preference for the pasta/vegetable ratio.

...Or go with what's left in the fridge. That's usually how I roll.

Simple Pasta Salad

Ingredients
  • 1 bag pasta, any shape
  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes (maybe 15-20)
  • 6 scallions (or about ½ cup chopped)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt (plus more as needed)
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • lightly toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. While it's cooking, wash, dry, and slice cherry tomatoes. Wash, pat dry, and chop scallions.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic, basil, olive oil, salt, oregano, garlic, and pepper.

3. Drain pasta and toss with dressing. Mix in vegetables and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve soon!

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