This pasta salad is great to enjoy while listening to Bobby Likis Car Clinic Saturdays from 10-noon on WNBF since the pasta shape gets its name because it looks like radiators.  Seriously, I'm not joking!

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Radiotori Pasta Salad

1 box tri-color Radiotori pasta (or rotini or bow-tie pasta if you can't find Radiotori)

½ red bell pepper, finely diced

4 green onions, sliced

1 small can sliced black olives (drained)

1 8.5 oz can chick peas (garbanzos), drained & rinsed

8 oz extra sharp cheddar, finely diced

¼ C. good-quality extra virgin olive oil *

1/4 C. balsamic vinegar (more if you like your salad more tart)

Pinch of salt

Cracked black pepper

In a large sauce pan, bring salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta until tender (more done than al dente since you don’t want the dressing to permeate the pasta too much.)  Drain and rinse.  Toss the warm pasta in a large bowl with the diced pepper and onions to allow the flavors of the vegetables to come out into the pasta as they warm a little.  Toss in the onions and chick peas.  In a container with a well-sealing lid, combine the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and shake vigorously to emulsify.  Pour over pasta and stir to coat.  Toss in cheese cubes once the pasta is room temperature, cover and refrigerate until needed.

The salad gets better the longer it is allowed to chill and flavors combine.  You can add in other vegetables like broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes or sliced baby carrots. You could also toss in diced meat like ham, chicken or a hard sausage like pepperoni, Andouille or Chorizo.  By the same token, you can leave things out.  For example, I found my sister doesn’t like chick peas, comparing their texture to little balls of paste (Really?!).

(* Another nod to Mr. Likis, you want to use only good-quality oil!)

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