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THREE-CHEESE PASTA SALAD WITH OLIVES

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less, but requires additional unattended time.

8 ounces medium-size pasta shells (about 2 3/4 cups)
1 cup chopped pitted brine-cured black olives (such as Kalamata)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup diced sharp white cheddar cheese ( about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Gouda cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup basil vinegar or red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of sugar

Cook pasta in pot of boiling water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain well.

Mix pasta, olives, bell pepper, all cheeses and basil in large bowl to combine. Pour vinegar into small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Add sugar; season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead; keep refrigerated.)

Serves 4.

 

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