Nora Ephron & Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

I have been on a Nora Ephron kick lately. I haven’t read much of her work before (although I have seen most of her movies) and I find myself relating to a lot of what she says, especially regarding the joy of reading and the many pitfalls of aging. Here are a few of my favorites from I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts About Being a Woman:

“…the amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.”

“There’s something called the rapture of the deep, and it refers to what happens when a deep-sea diver spends too much time at the bottom of the ocean and can’t tell which way is up. When he surfaces, he’s liable to have a condition called the bends, where the body can’t adapt to the oxygen level in the atmosphere. All this happens to me when I surface from a great book.”

“Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.”

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”

“I could die from not being able to read the print on the pill bottle.”

“Are we really all going to spend our last years avoiding bread, especially now that bread in American is so unbelievable delicious? And what about chocolate?”

“Every so often I read a book about age, and whoever’s writing it says it’s great to be old. It’s great to be wise and sage and mellow: it’s great to be at the point where you understand just what matters in life. I can’t stand people who say things like this.”

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

As I have been on this kick, I discovered that she also had quite a passion for food. I should have assumed that, having written movies like Heartburn and Julie & Julia. She was a woman after my own heart, definitely not afraid to use real ingredients.

“Everybody dies, there’s no avoiding it and I do not believe for one second that butter is the cause of anyone’s death. Overeating maybe, but not butter, please. I just feel bad for people who make that mistake. By the way, the same thing is true of olive oil. What difference could it possibly make if there’s a little olive oil in your salad dressing? It does not take one day off your life.”

So to celebrate the use of olive oil in our diet, I thought I’d post this Greek Pasta Salad. The dressing isn’t overwhelmingly strong and the feta adds just the right amount of tang. It originally called for olives and pepperoni and I left out both. I really don’t like olives and since I was serving it with BBQ chicken it didn’t make sense to add the pepperoni. Feel free to add them in, though, if you want. 

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 tablespoons mustard
2 1/2 cups cooked pasta of your choice
3 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
15 cherry or tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, black pepper, and sugar. Add cooked pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese, green onions, olives, and pepperoni. Toss until evenly coated. Cover, and chill 2 hours or overnight.

Greek Pasta Salad

Posted in Mains, Starters
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