Finally, I think I am no longer required to wear wool socks for the entire day, although I do love the cozy comfort they bring. Now I'm all about sandals, and sunshine; we really don't have four seasons in Calgary, but essentially go from winter straight into summer within a few short weeks. It takes awhile, but at least we do get there (hooray!). I find summer so glamorous. Sunglasses. Sundresses. And salads? Ok, perhaps all three don't work for you. But hopefully this pasta salad will, especially since it's cook once, and then enjoy it's glory for a day or two. Depending of course, how many friends you plan to share it with; you might suddenly find you have many friends which seemingly continue to multiply. Oh darn. I did just get back from a three-day field trip with my junior high band students. So this dish will help me to get back on track after three days of fast-food, and not sleeping that well. I can thankfully say that the trip went fantastically well, no problems. And the only person who bled was the other teacher on the trip, and he didn't even notice! Phew! Now, I have time to obsess even more about the upcoming trip to Italy. I really do love to plan things. It's not like I have a list of 30 restaurants in Rome that I can't decide between. Oh, and we are in Rome for just three days. I am super-excited about the Mercantia festival in Certaldo, total mayhem, I love it! Tuxedo Pasta Salad 1 - 500g (1.1lb) package bowtie pasta Extra virgin olive oil 1 - 19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 red pepper, chopped 1 yellow pepper, chopped 1 cup broccoli florets (bite-size) 1/2 long English cucumber, chopped (2-3 cups) 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar sea salt, or kosher salt to taste (1 to 2 tsp) 1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Under cook the bowtie pasta; not quite al dente. The dressing on the pasta, and the liquid of the vegetables will cause the pasta to swell even more. Taste the pasta frequently, the middle should seem almost uncooked. 2. Drain the pasta, and drizzle a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into the colander. Shake the colander to spread the oil around. Allow the pasta to cool, but do not let it sit too long or it will dry out. Do not rinse the pasta with cold water, unless severely undercooked. 3. Chop the vegetables into bite size pieces. Rinse and drain the beans. 4. Combine 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar into a liquid measuring cup, and whisk. (I prefer a little bit more acidity in this dish than oil, so the proportion is not the usual salad dressing ratio of 2:1) 5. When the pasta is cool, toss with the vegetables. Add the balsamic dressing by the spoonful, being careful to stir the pasta and vegetables inbetween. Stop when the salad seems to have enough dressing. Hint: add the dressing at the last minute, and use less if the pasta iss overcooked. 6. Add salt to taste, I liked a teaspoon. Enjoy!!