Twelve Minute Pasta Salad

Twelve minutes. That’s how long it takes for the pasta to boil, and it’s also how long it takes to pull this entire recipe together. It’s light, it’s summery, and if you toss in some bocconcini, edamame, chicken, or tuna, it’s a meal. I plan to alternate it with my Wheatberry Salad for lunch, oh, every day until summer’s last, tomatoey gasp.

You’ve got twelve minutes, don’t you?

Twelve Minute Pasta Salad
Serves 6

1 package medium-sized pasta of your choice [I use Barilla Plus, which—hip hip hooray—now comes in farfalle, too]
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved [especially good with Sun Gold, those orangey little cherry tomatoes]
Corn from 3 ears of super-fresh summer corn or ½ pound frozen corn kernels, defrosted
Your choice of protein: cheese, edamame, chicken, tuna, beans… (optional)
¼ cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar [it’s great with a fruit-infused vinegar, too]
6-8 large basil leaves, chiffonaded

Bring large pot of well-salted water to a boil, and add the pasta. While it cooks, throw the tomatoes, corn, and protein (if you’re using) in a big ol’ salad bowl. When pasta is cooked, drain and rinse under cold running water. Add it to the big ol’ salad bowl and drizzle with the oil & vinegar. Toss, along with the basil, salt & pepper.

If you’re making this ahead, I’d hold off on adding the dressing until just before serving. Pasta salad has a tendency to absorb all available liquid, leaving you with something much less pleasant than it should be.

For an interesting discussion of how best to cook pasta for pasta salad, check out thekitchn.