This pasta salad goes heavy on the herbs, or the full tabbouleh. I’ve also made it with oregano, and I don’t see why you can’t add as many herbs as you want in addition to the three listed here. When cooking the pasta, make sure to take my dad’s advice and cook it for slightly less time than you would a proper pasta dish today.
- Start by cooking the pasta in heavily salted water. Cook and stir it as normal, but for slightly less than the advised cooking time because it's going to be served at room temperature. Meanwhile, mix the olive oil and vinegar. Once the pasta is ready, drain it, cool it, and add to a bowl for tossing. Grate some of the cheese over the pasta, add the olive oil and vinegar, and toss it.
- As that water is coming to a boil, chop the olives and chiles into small pieces. Set these and other ingredients aside after each step.
- Dice the garlic and then chop the spinach as you would for a salad. The pieces don't all need to be even, but you don't want any particularly big ones.
- Chop the trio of herbs last, and finely enough so they can be evenly distributed throughout the dish. Once all the ingredients are ready, add them to the bowl of pasta, grate a few ounces of Parmesan in, and toss it. More salt shouldn't be necessary, or only a little.
- You can eat it right away, but it's better if you let it marinate for an hour or two or even overnight.
Chris Crowley is a staff writer with New York magazine's Grub Street, where he edits the Grub Street Diet and writes about highballs and other important matters.