Pasta salad is the way to go for a picnic—it gets better as it sits and tastes great at room temperature. Also a plus on a day outdoors: the starch will sustain you and your guests so you can linger longer. Orecchiette, which translates from the Italian to “little ears,” is pasta the size of a thumbprint and shaped like a cupped hand, perfect for catching bits of flavor so that every bite of this pasta sings with lemon, garlic, and mint. The pasta can be assembled ahead of time, the dressing kept in a separate jar, the garnishes on the side, and everything tossed together at the picnic site before serving.
from A Simple Feast: A Year of Stories and Recipes to Savor and Share
by Diana Yen and The Jewels of New York