Small pasta like acini de pepe and orzo make wonderful room temperature salads, since they mix so thoroughly with the other ingredients and never go stiff. Garlic, olives, and chile flakes lend a lot of zip to this quick side dish you'll come back to all summer.more
lb acini de pepe or orzo (1¼ cups)
Tbsp olive oil
Tbsp unsalted butter
garlic cloves, minced (1½ Tbsp)
tsp hot red-pepper flakes
cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered
Cook acini de pepe in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 Tbsp salt for 6 qt water), stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain well in a sieve. Transfer to a bowl. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then saute garlic with red-pepper flakes until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in olives, Toss with pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Cooks' Note: Pasta can be made 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.