For me, every time I eat this I am brought back to exactly where I was when I first ate it. A friend of mine made this for me when I was living far away from home and three of us would get together for dinner every so often. I wasn’t venturing too far out of my food comfort zone at the time (mostly because I was a terribly poor student).
My friend adapted the recipe from an orzo salad with beans to this lighter, summery pasta salad with fresh tomatoes and herbs, so I must give credit to her for the changes. The original is a Giada De Laurentis recipe that can be found HERE on the Food Network.
There are several substitutions that Melissa made when she first served this to me about five years ago. Firstly, no orzo. Substitute fusilli. Boil a pot of water and add the chicken stock cubes. Add your fusilli when the water has boiled. While the pasta is cooking, start working on halving your cherry tomatoes, chopping your red onion and your mint and basil. She omitted the beans and as I have previously discussed my dislike of beans, I have continued to exclude them from this recipe.
For the dressing, combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper and EVOO. When the pasta is done, pour over your tomato/red onion/herb combo and toss in your dressing. I agree with Giada, it serves six easily. It also keeps for almost two days covered in the fridge. After that, it gets a little vinegary for my taste.
It’s easy. It’s delicious. It tastes like summer. Just make it Melissa’s way.