I thought that yesterday had the first signs of Spring in it’s step, a little more warmth in the air, the occasional blossom on the trees and most of the girls in London displaying more flesh than before.
There were a few friends popping over for an impromptu soireé and I found myself standing in the grocer’s staring at the produce, having a think as to what dish should herald the dawn of a season.
Pasta Salad at first does not really say Spring…that I will grant you.
We all know that Pasta should be used in hot dishes with sauces that have been lovingly nurtured from simple ingredients; not cloying mayonnaisey(sp?) plastic pots on supermarket shelves or big deep dishes of farfalle next to a BBQ, with the sole purpose of soaking up the litres of Pimms that will follow.
Once in a while a little change can be a good thing, if Barrack says so it must be true. I have been a keen ‘leaf in pasta’ advocate for some time. A handful of rocket in any pasta dish always adds texture and spice. It was always used as a herb before its ubiquitous appearance in 80’s salads.
In essence this really is a Pasta Salad – Served warm and with a lot of leaf it really makes a great simple supper.
Spring Pasta Salad
500g Spelt Penne ( Selezioni Monograno, Valentino Felicetti is my fave)
2 Red Onions
3 Pepper (Orange, Red and Yellow)
250g Chestnut Mushrooms
250g Sundried Tomatoes
200g mixed spicy leaves
200g Sugar Snap Peas
150g Blue Cheese (St Agur, Roquefort, Dolcelatte…whatever your preference)
25 ml Blasamic
50 ml Olive oil
Cut up the peppers, onions and mushrooms into large chunks. Chop the sundried toms into bite-size pieces.
Pop the pasta on to cook. Pop all the fresh veggies in a large frying pan with a little olive oil. Fry on a high heat for about 5 mins till all soft, they should retain their crunch. Keep warm.
Slice the sugar snap peas lengthwise in strips.
In a large serving bowl, soften the cheese with the oil and balsamic vinegar and then shred and add the basil and sundried tomatoes. Season.
Drain the pasta and immediately add the hot pasta and hot veg to the serving bowl. Toss and coat the pasta and veg with the melting cheese dressing. Add the sugar snaps and the leaves to the bowl and toss.
If necessary add a few more tablespoons of oil to loosen.