I love it when the refrigerator gods see fit to leave me with a host of ingredients that actually go together. The other night, the little fridge light shined from above and gave me half a red onion, frozen artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, a lemon, parsley, and crumbled feta cheese. I added to this bounty with cherry tomatoes and a zucchini, and from the pasta aisle, some shells (or I believe technically, cappelletti, which are shell-like). And voila! Greek-style pasta salad. Next time, I’ll have to make this on purpose.

Greek Pasta Salad
Serves 6

1 lb. Cappelletti, shells, or other short pasta shape
1 bag frozen artichokes
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 3/4 c. feta cheese crumbles
handful chopped kalamata olives
handful chopped parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Thaw your artichokes and drain well. Melt 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes (I like mine still quite crisp). Add the artichoke hearts, red pepper flakes, and dried oregano and saute until the artichoke hearts are heated through and any excess liquid has cooked off. Add the cherry tomatoes and just heat through (you don’t want them to turn to mush). Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, and put the mixture in a large bowl.

Cook your pasta in salted water until al dente; drain. Add to the large bowl with the veggies and stir to incorporate. Add a touch of olive oil if the pasta seems dry (it probably will need it). Stir in the olives, feta, and parsley. Salt to taste (I wait until the end to salt because the olives and feta are so salty, if you salted your veggies to taste, it might be too much).

Serve hot or at room temperature.