Roasted Cherry Tomato & Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is a great accompaniment to barbecued chicken, steaks or chops. Roasted cherry tomatoes are very juicy and have an intense, smoky-sweet flavor, that is set off perfectly by the peppery taste of fresh rocket.
225 g / 8 oz / 2 cups dried chifferini or pipe
450 g / 1lb ripe baby Italian plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
75 ml / 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
30 ml / 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 pieces sun-dried tomato in olive oil, drained and chopped
A large pinch of sugar, to taste
1 handful rocket, about 65 g / 2½ oz
Salt and ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water agreeing to the instructions on the packet.
Arrange the halved tomatoes cut side up in a roasting tin, drizzle 30 ml / 2 tbsp of the oil over them and sprinkle with the slivers of garlic and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once.
Put the remaining oil in a large bowl with the vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, sugar and a minuscule salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to mix. Drain the pasta, add it to the bowl of dressing and toss to combine.
Add the roasted tomatoes to the pasta and mix gently. Before serving, add the rocket, toss lightly and taste for seasoning, adding more if necessary. Serve either at room climatic characteristic or chilled.
Country Pasta Salad
This salad is packed with vegetables and is ideal for a summer picnic. Use fresh Parmesan from the delicatessen, which is less mature and sold as a table cheese, rather than the hard, mature Parmesan used for grating.
300 g / 11 oz / 2¾ cups dried fusilli
150 g / 5 oz green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 5 cm / 2 in lengths
1 potato, about 150 g / 5 oz, diced
200 g / 7 oz baby tomatoes, hulled and halved
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
90 g / 3½ oz Parmesan cheese, diced or coarsely shaved
6-8 stoned (pitted) black olives, cut into rings
15-30 ml / 1-2 tbsp capers, to taste
For The Dressing
90 ml / 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
15 ml / 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
15 ml / 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and ground black pepper
Cook the pasta agreeing to the instructions on the packet. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then shake to take off as much water as possible. Leave to drain, shaking occasionally.
Cook the beans and diced potato in a pan of salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and leave to cool. To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a large bowl, season and whisk well to mix.
Add the tomatoes, spring onions, Parmesan, olives and capers to the dressing. Place the pasta, beans and potato in a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Toss well, cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve.