Yield: 10 to 12 servings
16 ounces small pasta of your choice (such as fusilli, geminelli, cavatelli)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced on a Microplane (1 teaspoon)
1 large shallot, peeled and diced small (1/3 cup)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper (chili) flakes
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10-ounce) jar pitted Castelvetrano olives, drained and roughly chopped
2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, not pre-grated
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 persian or English cucumbers, halved and sliced thinly on a bias
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
4 teaspoons za’atar, plus more to taste
Add 16 cups water to a pot. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a rolling boil.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (almost done, or “to the tooth”).
While pasta is cooking, add vinaigrette ingredients to a very large bowl. Whisk vigorously until emulsified just before adding pasta.
When pasta is done, drain (do not rinse) and add to the large bowl with the (now whisked) vinaigrette. Mix thoroughly.
Let pasta vinaigrette mixture rest at room temperature until it has cooled. Stir occasionally.
While cooling, add all salad ingredients except za’atar to a medium bowl.
Once pasta is room temperature, add salad ingredients to the pasta and gently fold to combine.
Sprinkle za’atar over salad and fold again to combine. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper and za’atar.
Serve and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.