Indy Power: Simple Summer Pasta Salad
A fresh pasta salad loaded with veg and pine nuts.
Simple Summer Pasta Salad
This is such a gorgeous pasta salad for summer get-togethers. Oily tender veg, fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts add so much flavour and texture.
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Serves 6-8. Vegan.
500g of fusilli pasta
75ml of olive oil
1 tsp of oregano
25g of pine nuts
60g of sun-dried tomatoes
10g of tomato paste
5g of fresh basil
1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain it and set it aside to cool.
2. Chop the aubergine and courgette into bite-sized chunks. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan on medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the oregano and then add the veg and cook for about 10-15 minutes, tossing often, until tender and starting to brown.
3. Add the veg to a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper.
4. Add the pine nuts to the pan and toast just until golden.
5. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces and add them to the bowl along with the pine nuts.
6. Add the cold pasta to the bowl. Whisk together about 3 tablespoons of olive oil (it also works really well here to use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes), the juice of the lemon and the tomato paste until smooth.
7. Finely chop the basil and add it to the bowl. Drizzle over the dressing and toss well. Taste and season again as needed.
Some people add salt to their pasta water, some add oil, and some go for both, or nothing at all. The idea is that salt is for flavour and oil is to prevent sticking. I've tried all of the above and I'm a firm believer that just a good, big pinch or two of sea salt is the way to go. It seasons the pasta from the inside out, making it more delicious and balancing the finished dish. I think oil is unnecessary. I prefer to err on the side of too al dente rather than over-cooked so my pasta never sticks anyway. Oil can also make it too slippy, which means sauces slide off instead of clinging to each bite. Add the salt as the water starts to bubble.
My absolute favourite place to pick up salads on the go, whether it's for lunch on the spot or to take home for dinner later, is Industry & Co on Drury Street. It's been a favourite of mine for years - it's the only place I know I can always rely on for vibrant, colourful and creative salads that you really look forward to eating. They have six rotating salads a day, usually all with a middle eastern vibe, and I always get three with a big dollop of their creamy hummus. It doesn't hurt that you have to walk through their gorgeous interiors shop to get to the counter either. Last summer, they did dinner on weekends which I never made it to, so I'm hoping they do it this year too.