Pasta salad nicoise

Published On: Jul 25 2012 07:52:23 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 25 2012 07:52:09 AM EDT

Because this sunny, Mediterranean-inspired salad does not require constant refrigeration, it's a good take-along salad for summer picnics.

10 ounces rigatoni (about 4 cups)

Sun-Dried Tomato-Rosemary Vinaigrette

½ cup olive oil-packed, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes; drain and reserve oil 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (use reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes) 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed 
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (or ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed) 
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste 
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

To complete the salad

½ pound thin green beans, cut into 2-inch-long pieces (about 2 cups) 
One 6-ounce can water-packed solid white albacore tuna, drained and flaked
One 6-ounce jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained 
½ cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper 
½ cup thinly sliced red onion 
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 
Garnish (optional): freshly ground pepper, crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add the rigatoni. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the rigatoni. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until al dente, about 12 to 14 minutes, or according to package instructions.

While the rigatoni is cooking, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Put the green beans into a medium microwave-proof dish; add about ¼ cup water. Cover and microwave on high for about 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. (Or cook the beans for about 4 minutes in a stovetop steamer.) Drain and rinse well in cold water, then drain again.

When the rigatoni is done, drain and rinse well in cold water, then drain again.

Transfer the rigatoni to a large bowl. Add the beans and the remaining ingredients; toss. Add the dressing and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Advance preparation

The vinaigrette will keep for up to 1 week in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. Covered and refrigerated, the completed salad will keep for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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