Bow Ties with Tomatoes, Feta, and Balsamic Dressing
6 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 cup green seedless grape, halved
1⁄3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons nonpareil capers
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1(4 ounce) package crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting oil. Drain. Combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, grapes, and basil in a large bowl.
While pasta cooks, combine vinegar and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil to vinegar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle vinaigrette over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Add cheese; toss to combine.
* Unless you are in a pinch, use white balsamic vinegar. Although there won't be a huge taste difference, regular balsamic will lend a sweeter flavor and darken the dish. The white balsamic vinegar will enhance the aesthetic aspect of the dish.
* When cutting the basil, use an easy technique called "chiffonade." Stack a few basil leaves together, roll them length-wise into a long, skinny roll, Slice horizontally (perpendicularly to the roll) and separate. A few quick slices will render long, thin ribbons of basil.
The thought crossed my mind that chicken could probably be added to this dish. If you give it a try, let me know how it works out!