Fourth of July Pasta Salad
1 lb. Greek feta cheese crumbled
1 lb. cherry tomatoes halved
1 or 2 garlic cloves smashed and diced
8-10 oz. Pitted kalamata olives halved
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb penne rigate pasta
Mix first nine ingredients in a medium bowl and let stand at room temperature.
In a pasta pot or stock pot, bring several quarts of salted water to a boil.
Cook pasta according to package instructions (al dente*)
Drain pasta and allow to cool for 10 minutes. If you combine ingredients with hot pasta, all the cheese will melt and disappear.
Combine slightly cooled pasta and tomato mixture in a large salad or pasta bowl.
Serve at room temperature.
*pasta should have a little firmness to the bite, not mushy