Cold pasta salads can offer really good solution for light and quick lunches, picnics or even for parties. As they are served cold, they can be pre-prepared, which is a huge advantage in a number of scenarios.
I often make this pasta salad not only because of practical considerations. My husband simply loves it! I love it too not only because it is so easy to prepare but because it is full of fresh and tasty vegetables. The goat’s cheese or feta gives it a bit of a “binding” agent while the pine nuts or walnuts make it slightly crunchy. I normally serve it with a simple egg sandwich or with rustic bread with pesto, guacamole or hummus spread.
The recipe originates from the BBC Food website but I made minor changes to it. Ever since I found it, this dish has been an essential part of my household. Everyone who tasted it so far, instantly fell in love with it. So, don’t hesitate to try it and impress your family and friends with it.
300 gram pasta (preferably durum penne, farfalle or fusilli)
250 gram cherry tomatoes (quartered)
100 gram black olives (stoned and sliced)
225 gram baby spinach leaves
1 bunch of fresh basil (alternatively 1 tablespoon of dried basil flakes can be used)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of one lemon
200 gram goat’s cheese (crumbled) or feta cheese (squared)
2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts or walnuts (if walnuts are used, chop them roughly)
Salt according to taste
Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta, rinse in cold water. Set aside to cool.
In a large salad bowl, add the quartered cherry tomatoes and sprinkle them with the salt. Add the olives and the baby spinach leaves. Sprinkle the mixture with the olive oil and the juice of the lemon. Add the crumbled goat’s cheese and mix well. Add the cold pasta to the salad mixture and mix gently but thoroughly.
Sprinkle the salad with the toasted pine nuts or walnuts.
Serve immediately. Alternatively, you can keep it for a few days in the fridge in a sealed container.
Serve it with sandwiches, eggs, spreads and the success of this quick meal will be guaranteed. Offer some old-fashioned lemonade, lemon water or ginger beer with it and the meal will be complete & unforgettable.
I am a big fan of Italian flavours and I believe that there is nothing better than an easy pasta dish for a light, weekday dinner. I often browse recipes on the website of “Forks over Knives”, where I have recently come across this pasta dish. When I prepared it for the first time, it was an instant hit for us. It has fresh, spring-like qualities and it is an incredibly well-balanced dish, in my view. The vegetables just work perfectly well in its sauce and the dish is simply very delicious.
When I looked at the recipe more closely, I discovered that it was developed by Ella Woodward, the author of the popular food blog “Deliciously Ella”. She deserves full credit for this marvellous spaghetti. Nevertheless, I made some minor modifications to the original recipe due to the fact that some ingredients are not always available in the area where I live.
Let’s see how to make this marvellous mediterranean spaghetti with my minor changes.
1 packet of durum pasta
1 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into small pieces
2 plum tomatoes, deseeded and sliced into eights (if plum tomatoes are not available, other types can be used)
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
Juice of 1 lime
1 large or 2 smaller aubergines, sliced into small rounds and then quarters (alternatively use 1 zucchini, as per the original recipe)
1 bunch of spinach
Handful of olives (use deseeded and sliced ones if possible)
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Salt according to taste
2 tablespoons of Italian or French dried herbs
Pepper according to taste
200 ml water
Boil the pasta, according to packet instructions. Once it is ready, set aside.
Put the sliced aubergines in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and olive oil. Set aside.
Put the peppers, tomatoes, salt and dried herbs into a saucepan. Add the water to the saucepan and simmer the vegetables slowly. In case the vegetables start to brown, add more water and stir gently. Slowly cook for a few minutes.
Once the vegetables wilted, add the tomato purée and the juice of the lime.
Cook the vegetables for a few more minutes and let it slowly combine to form the sauce.
Once the sauce is ready, add the cherry tomatoes, aubergine slices (or zucchini slices) and the spinach leaves. Cook gently until the ingredients mix well.
Add the olives and additional dried herbs according to taste.
Combine the sauce with the pasta and mix well. Cook for a further a few minutes as the pasta will need to be heated.
This pasta dish is perfect on its own. If you prefer, you may serve it with parmesan.