For lunch today I had one of my favorite summer treats – Orzo Pasta Salad. It is a modification of a pasta salad I had from Catering to You in Little Rock, a roasted tomato recipe from the Barefoot Contessa and a pasta salad recipe by Rachel Ray. It is simple and light and perfect for summer. It is not my husband’s favorite so more for me.
To make it, you need the following ingredients:
- Bag or box of orzo (preferably not whole wheat)
- Barefoot Contessa Roasted Plum Tomatoes
- Container of kalamata olives
- Container of feta cheese
- Pine nuts
- Fresh basil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Here’s how to make it.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees (for tomatoes). Cut plum or roma tomatoes in half and remove seeds with fingers. Place tomatoes on foil covered baking sheet cut side up. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place baking sheet on middle rack in oven and roast for about 45 minutes.
Cook orzo pasta according to package instructions in boiling water with salt and olive oil.
Gently toast pine nut is small pan over low heat.
Roughly chop kalamata olives and feta cheese. Roll basil leaves like a cigar and slice.
Once tomatoes are done, remove skin and roughly chop.
When all ingredients have been prepared, you can assemble the pasta salad. Start with warm, drained orzo in a large bowl. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over pasta and stir to distribute. Add feta cheese, olives, pine nuts, and basil. Stir until all ingredients are distributed. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an air tight container for up to 1 week. Makes an excellent side dish or can be served as an entree.