Pasta With Tomatoes, Green Beans & Feta
1 1/2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste, plus 1 T. salt for pasta water
1 2 T. olive oil, or to taste
1 2 t. balsamic vinegar, or to taste (optional)
2 T. chopped fresh chives
1 T. slivered or chopped fresh basil
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 C.)
3/4 lb. pasta (fusilli, rigatoni, farfalle or penne)
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and broken in half
Start a large pot of water to boil with 1 T. salt. While water heats, toss tomatoes with garlic, salt, pepper, oil, herbs and vinegar (if using) in a pasta bowl. Add feta. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes or longer. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Add pasta to boiling water. Cook 5 minutes. Add beans. Keep cooking until pasta is al dente, firm to the bite (see cooking time on package). Drain, toss with tomato mixture and serve.
The tomato mixture, without the herbs, can be made hours ahead. Hold in or out of the refrigerator, but let it come to room temperature before adding herbs and tossing with cooked pasta.