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Penne with Greek-Style Vegetable Marinade

Penne with Greek-Style Vegetable Marinade
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I made this pasta salad last night for our dear friends who just welcomed twins into their lives. I know that when I had both my boys, anyone who brought us food was a total hero. Not having to worry about a trip to the grocery store, let alone cooking, and still being nourished was one of the best gifts someone with a newborn can receive. We decided to eat with Anna and Debbie but I made sure to make enough so that they would have some leftovers.

This pasta salad is one I have made again and again and never tire of. Put some raw zucchini, tomato, olives, garlic, feta cheese, olive oil, and dill to marinate together in a nice big bowl. This allows the zucchini to “cook” a bit so it has a nice texture and flavor, but without that chalky rawness or that overcooked slimy texture. You can just let this bowl sit while you bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta. I just scoop the pasta out and directly into the bowl where the veggies are marinating so I don’t have to wash a colander. Plus a little starchy water from the pasta eliminates the need for too much olive oil.

I once read somewhere that pasta salads are best served room temperature. I couldn’t agree more. If they are too cold, the pasta seems to get extra starchy and that is all you taste. There is a lot of wonderful savory flavor here so please don’t kill it in the fridge! It can be made a day in advance, refrigerated then brought to room temperature for an hour or so.

  • 1/3 cup
    olive oil
  • 3 cloves
    garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium
    zucchini, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
  • tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 12 
    Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • scallions, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons
    fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 cup
    feta cheese, finely diced
  • 1 pound
    penne or rotini pasta
    salt and pepper
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the pasta and the salt in a large bowl. Toss and let sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Carefully scoop the pasta out and add to the bowl with the veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from Main Course Vegetarian Pleasures


Nutritional Information

Makes: 8 servings
  • Calories317
  • Carbohydrates35.9g
  • Cholesterol58mg
  • Fat15.1g
    • Saturated fat4.3g
  • Sodium289mg
  • Protein10.1g
* Nutritional Guidelines based on the USDA's MyPlate Standards.
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