I recently had a party for a bunch of friends, and while I like pasta salads they have in the past gone largely untouched. This makes me sad, so I decided to throw together a different kind of pasta salad, thinking that possibly that was the problem. (Not everyone likes the typical mayonnaise-coated pasta salads, though I admit to being similarly picky.)
i decided on something vaguely mediterranean themed, but without the olives (because I can't stand them). The ingredient list I came up with was:
- Olive Oil (Good quality extra virgin)
- Garlic, minced
- Basil, chiffonade
- Salt and Pepper, ground
- Artichoke hearts, sliced
- Feta, sliced (a good feta, please)
- Prosciutto, sliced into thin strips
- Lightly Roasted Pine Nuts
- Optional: Olives, also sliced.
Chop the garllic and basil and dump into a bunch of olive oil and let sit as you cook the orzo per the directions. You can work on prepping the artichokes, the feta, the prosciutto, and shudder the olives while the orzo is cooking. (Honestly, I also did the olive oil, garlic, and basil while the pasta was cooking as well.) Pour the hopefully seasoned olive oil, with all the seasonings over the orzo and stir. Use a big bowl with lots of room, think of it as similar to making sushi rice where you want to get it nice and fluffy. Add more olive oil and basil chiffonade as appears reasonable. Dump in the artichoke hearts and stir through. Salt and pepper some, remember that the feta and prosciutto are going to add to the flavors. Once the orzo has cooled sufficiently (this may be aided with a refrigerator) add the feta and the prosciutto, again combine fully. Do a final taste and season with salt and pepper, and if anything else in the spice rack looks like it should be added feel free to improve(-ize). Chill for a couple hours and serve.