Usually I will carefully follow a recipe, using the exact ingredients and measurements. But with this Mediterranean Pasta Salad, I didn’t want to make enough to feed 12 people, so I adjusted the amount of each ingredient, but not the ingredients themselves, and not consistently – it depended on the amount I happened to have in my refrigerator and what I happened to think the proportions should be – and my kids loved it!!
MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD WITH OLIVES AND CAPERS
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups diced seeded plum tomatoes
2 cups chopped fresh fennel
1 cup chopped fresh basil
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup drained capers
(I added a handful of chopped Italian parsley)
16 ounces penne pasta
Whisk olive oil, tomato paste, vinegar and garlic in a small bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Combine tomatoes, fennel, basil, onions, olives, capers and parsley in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let tomato mixture stand at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Cook penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water and drain again. Transfer pasta to a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Add tomato mixture and toss to blend.