This vegetarian version of the classic salad from Nice, France, uses pasta instead of tuna but delivers all the great taste of the original. A delicious chilled main dish perfect for al fresco lunches, suppers, or picnics.
Fresh vegetables, beans, olive oil, and rich flavor make it a great Mediterranean health-salad, high in fiber and rich with vitamin and mineral nutrition.
1 pound penne, ziti, or other tubular pasta
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh green beans, blanched
1 1/2 cups cooked cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted (any oil-cured olive will do)
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Salad greens, for serving
1. Cook the penne in a large pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, rinse under cold water, and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil and add the green beans, cannellini beans, tomatoes, olives, and parsley.
2. To make the dressing, combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Whisk in the remaining oil and add to the pasta and vegetables. Toss gently to combine. Taste to adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
3. Divide the salad greens among individual plates, top with the pasta salad, and serve.