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A warm pasta salad that would go well with lamb, chicken or fish; it’s light, easy to make and fits the bill on a warm evening. Or you could simply serve as a main course!
½ lb. orzo
1 ½ Tbsp. EVO
1/3 cup pine nuts** (see below)
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped** (see below)
6 oz. cherry tomatoes
¼ lb. feta cheese (I recommend Dodonis)
1 ½ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
** In my opinion, the Mediterranean pine nuts are the best ones to use, however they are a bit pricey & I am reading that the crops are becoming scarce, so feel free to substitute slivered almonds.
**If you like you can substitute some fresh basil or oregano for some of the parsley.
Fill a large pasta pot with water & bring to a boil.
While the water is coming to the boil, heat 1 ½ tsp. EVO in a small pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking & sauté the nuts with salt to taste, stirring frequently, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to paper towels to drain & set aside to cool.
Add 1 Tbsp. salt to the boiling water, then add the orzo & cook until al dente; stirring occasionally.
Quarter the tomatoes & coarsely crumble the feta. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, parsley, vinegar & remaining tablespoon of EVO; season with salt & pepper to taste; add the tomatoes & feta & gently toss to combine.
When the orzo is cooked drain in a large sieve & rinse slightly with warm water. Drain orzo well & add to the tomato mixture, tossing until just combined. Either scatter the nuts on top before serving or lightly fold them in. Serve immediately while still warm.