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nicoise pasta
Niçoise Pasta Salad

Menu Plan for the week of August 23, 2013: Day 5 Recipes

Niçoise Pasta Salad

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       A traditional French Salade with a modern twist: pasta.  Best if consumed with a glass of Rosé, sitting on a terrace, gazing at the Mediterranean. If that's not possible, eat on your own terrace, as we do... Use the rest of the pepper on Thursday.

Niçoise Pasta Salad                                           Preparation and cooking time:   25 minutes
   Traditionally (besides being served on lettuce) this should have the small, black Niçoise olives but I use the dry-cured Greek - because I didn't want to bother pitting the small ones.  Get the best canned tuna you can find.  Salade Niçoise always uses canned, never fresh.  The pasta takes the place of the potatoes.  

6oz (180gr) green beans
1/2 cup (3oz, 90gr) cherry tomatoes
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper  or any color you like
9oz (270gr) canned tuna
2 eggs, hard cooked
1/2 cup black or green olives, (or both) pitted and halved  I used dry-cured Greek black
2 tbs fresh snipped chives     Substitute 2 tsp dried
1 1/4 cups (5oz) pasta - bite-size.. shells, penne, farfalle, fusilli
4 anchovy fillets  optional

1/4 cup salad olive oil
2 tbs tarragon white wine vinegar
1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs fresh tarragon   Substitute 2 tsp dried
2 tbs snipped chives  Substitute 2 tsp dried

Boil eggs
Cook pasta according to package directions. 
Top and tail beans and cut in half.  Fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add beans and blanch for 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water. 
To make vinaigrette: Whisk vinegar, mustard and lemon juice.  Slowly add oil, whisking until it emulsifies.   Add tarragon, chives, stir and put into a large salad bowl. 
The Salad: Add beans to vinaigrette.  Cut tomatoes in half and add to vinaigrette.  Clean pepper by cutting in half and discarding seeds.  Slice half of the pepper and add to vinaigrette.  Snip chives and add.  Cut olives in half and add (you get the picture.. - stir gently after each addition.).  Drain tuna, and add. 
When pasta is cooked, drain and add to mix in salad bowl.  Toss lightly to combine.  Quarter eggs and arrange on top.  Garnish with anchovies, if desired, and serve.

Cooking schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
whisk, small bowl, pot to cook pasta, colander, small
saucepan with lid, medium saucepan, medium bowl,
salad bowl

Put water on high heat for pasta
Start to boil eggs
Put water on high heat for beans
Top and tail beans, cut
Blanch beans
Fill bowl with cold water
Cut olives

Drain beans, plunge in cold water
Clean, slice pepper
Start to cook pasta
Mind the eggs
Cut tomatoes
Make vinaigrette, put into large salad bowl
Snip herbs, add to vinaigrette, stir
Add beans, tomatoes, pepper, olives to vinaigrette, stir
Drain tuna, add, stir
Cool, peel, quarter eggs
Drain pasta, add to salad, stir
Add eggs, ...anchovies if using...

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