Part Greek, part American, it makes sense that this month's Kalo Mina recipe is a Theros sister summer special. This dish combines distinctly Greek flavors like Feta, Kalamata olives and pickled pepperoncini with the all-American (we think!) pasta salad. The surprise, and very welcomed, guest in this dish is roasted red pepper, which adds a slight sweetness to the saltiness of olives and Feta and a very subtle smoked flavor. Grab your Greek sandals, head to the market for the freshest ingredients and let's make Greek pasta salad together!
Prep time: 25 minutes
Assembly time: 10 minutes
Ingredients: A caveat here, a lot of the measurements here are based on taste, and it all depends on the ratios that you prefer. We like, for example, a lot of olives and a lot of Feta cheese. For the sauce as well, it depends on how much sauce you like on your pasta salad - light, medium, or heavy.
For the pasta salad:
400 grams, or 4 cups of uncooked Fusilli pasta (alternatively, you can choose shells)
200 grams or a little under 1 cup of Feta cheese, crumbled
3 pepperoncinis, deseeded and then chopped
2 medium red peppers, roasted, peeled, and then diced
Around 15-20 cherry tomatoes depending on size and taste, quartered/chopped
1 cup of green olives, roughly chopped
1 cup of (preferably un-pitted) Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil
Parsley for garnish
For the dressing:
1.5 cups of mayonnaise
1 lemon juiced
1.5-2 tbsp tbsp of Dijon mustard
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
A dash of the pepperoncini brine
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 tsp of mild chili powder
1 tsp or more to taste of freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
- Cut tops off of red peppers, then cut them in half and de-seed. Line a baking pan with foil or parchment paper, place halves on the pan and rub with some olive oil. Put oven to broil setting, place pan in oven and broil for 18 minutes or until the skin on the red peppers is blackened.
- While the red peppers are roasting, we like to do all the chopping for the salad. We cut all the tomatoes (make sure there aren't too many seeds or tomato water/juice left), chop all the olives, the onion, and the pepperoncini. We crumble the feta.
- When the red peppers are finished, leave them to rest and cool for 10 minutes before peeling the charred skin off and then chopping them.
- Salt and bring water to boil in a pot, drop in the fusilli. For pasta salads, we like to boil the pasta for a minute or so longer than the instructions on the pasta packet. The pasta is finished when it's a bit passed al dente. Once finished, drain and rinse under cool water. Place in a large mixing bowl and mix with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.
- While the pasta cools, we make the dressing! Mix together all the dressing ingredients, adjusting salt for preferred taste.
- When the pasta is cooler but not cold, we add the crumbled Feta and mix well. The intent here is to get the pasta somewhat coated in the Feta. We then add some extra freshly ground pepper to the salad. Trust us, the salad can take quite a bit of it!
- Add the rest of the chopped ingredients into the pasta salad and mix.
- To be safe, add the dressing in increments to adjust for how heavy or lightly sauced you'd like your salad. We tend to go with more as the pasta does a good job of absorbing the sauce. Add salt and/or pepper to taste.
- Garnish with parsley, if desired.