Summer is salad time & a flavourful pasta salad is something everybody should have in their back pocket. This recipe is simple enough to make on the regular, yet so delightfully different from you more traditional pasta salad versions. It’s perfect to take along & prep ahead! And if you use glutenfree pasta it’s both vegan & glutenfree.
- Prep Time: 15m
- Cook Time: 35m
- Total Time: 50m
- 400 grams short cut pasta
- 1 small birdeye chili (optional)
- 750 grams cherry tomatoes
- 250 grams zucchini or curgette
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt & fresh pepper
- more basil leaves or arugula for serving
- 1 avocado
- 1 handful walnuts (optional)
- 25 grams fresh basil leaves
- 20 grams walnuts (or sunflower seeds, if nut free)
- 90 millilitres olive oil, extra-virgin
- 1 organic lemon, zest & juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 200°C & put a big pot of water on the stove, cover with a lid & bring to a boil.
- Wash cherry tomatoes & cut bigger ones into halves. Place in a baking dish & drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Crush garlic cloves with the back side of a knife, leaving skin on. Add chili (if using) & garlic to the baking dish.
- Bake tomatoes for 25 minutes or until they start to burst. Remove from the oven & let cool before assembling.
- Meanwhile cool pasta according to package description in salty water. Cool al-dente or a little bit less. Drain immediately & rinse under cool running water.
- Wash zucchini & cut into rounds or half rounds. Put a grill pan over high heat & grill zucchini rounds for 1-2 minutes on both sides. Set aside & drizzle with the remaining to 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Remove garlic cloves from the tomatoes & peel. Add to pesto ingredients & blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
- Add tomatoes, zucchini & pesto to the cooled-off pasta. Mix through & season to taste with salt & fresh ground pesto.
- Straight before serving cut avocado into cubes & add to the salad together with more basil or arugula leaves & walnuts (if using).
- Notes: You can easily store the salad in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or make pesto & bake cherry tomatoes ahead of time & assemble right before serving.