Mediterranean Pasta Salad with California Ricotta and Feta

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with California Ricotta and Feta
Author: 
Recipe type: Salads
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Great for picnics and barbeques. Make ahead.
Ingredients
  • For the dressing:
  • ½ Large red onion, (about 5 ounces), finely chopped
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • ¼ cup Finely chopped fresh oregano leaves (or, use 1 tablespoon dried oregano)
  • 3 tbs Finely chopped fresh dill, (or, use 2 teaspoons dried dill)
  • 2 tbs Red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For the salad:
  • 1 lb Fusilli (corkscrew) or penne pasta
  • ½ pint Cherry tomatoes (or approximately two dozen), halved
  • 1 English cucumber (about 12 ounces) quartered lengthwise,
  • Then sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick (alternatively, use 2 medium cucumbers, peel and seed them, cut as directed)
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, (about 4 ounces) pitted and halved
  • alt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1½ tsp Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) California Ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup (4 ounces) crumbled California cow’s milk Feta cheese
  • 1 oz Crumbled Feta cheese, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients except for the oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Slowly whisk in the oil until it is thoroughly combined with the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. (Can be made the day before and refrigerated.)
  4. Bring 3 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to a boil.
  5. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still slightly firm to the bite.
  6. Drain (do not rinse) and let cool to room temperature, mixing occasionally.
  7. When cool, place in a large bowl and add the dressing.
  8. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix until the dressing is well distributed.
  9. Add the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper and 1 ounce of Feta for garnish.
  10. Let stand for ½ hour.
  11. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
  12. Top with remaining crumbled Feta and serve.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 465 Fat: 24g Saturated fat: 6g Unsaturated fat: 1.9g Carbohydrates: 47g Sodium: 458 mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 13g