- Bring a large, heavy pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Add the pasta and return to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook pasta according to the package directions, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Donít overcook!
- Using oven mitts or pot holders, drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink, pouring away from you. Rinse with cold water until the pasta is cool and allow to drain in the sink for 10 minutes.
- Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl.
- Toss with the remaining ingredients, stirring well with a large wooden spoon.
- If desired, add optional ingredients (below).
- Serve at room temperature or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Optional Accompaniments: Cherry tomatoes Chopped tomatoes Blanched asparagus Other cheeses, such as goat cheese and feta cheese Chopped black olives Chopped sun-dried tomatoes Artichoke hearts Cooked and drained white beans or green peas Red or green bell peppers, chopped, sliced, or roasted Thinly sliced red onion