23 July 2014

Weeknight Pasta in a Flash

quick pasta recipe
This weeknight pasta in a flash is actually a pasta salad.

In the Summer we really enjoy cold pasta salads. Now I'm not talking claggy leftover pasta, I'm talking about firm, glossy pasta with Summer flavours and colours that pop.

Pasta salad shouldn't just be a scoop on the side of your plate at a BBQ or a small tub quickly grabbed out a chiller cabinet for a hurried lunch at your desk. It deserves it's place at the dinner table too.


For this salad I used my favourite salad pasta shape which I call belly button pasta, but it's real name is Messicani. If you have trouble finding it, I buy mine in M&S. They often have it on a 3 for 2 offer. I made a dressing of basil and rapeseed oil, added sunblush tomatoes, fresh Santini tomatoes  and sweetcorn, with a dollop of Mr Organic Sundried Tomato Pesto (which is vegan) thrown in for extra flavour.

It only takes a few minutes to make once the pasta is cooked, so it's great for weeknight meals. I made enough for us to enjoy a portion for lunch the next day and Cooper and I had a little fresh mozzarella in ours, but that's optional. Do you like cold pasta salads or do you prefer your pasta hot?




print recipe

Summer Tomato and Corn Pasta Salad
A fresh summery pasta salad with sunblush tomatoes, tomatoes, corn and a herb dressing. So quick to put together.
Ingredients
  • 500g dried Messicani pasta
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 jar sunblush tomatoes, plus a glug of the oil
  • 150 - 200g santini tomatoes (or other)
  • 340g sweetcorn
  • 2 tbsp Mr Organic Sundried Tomato Pesto (or similar)
  • a good grinding of black pepper
Instructions
1. Cook the pasta according to the packet until al dente. Drain and rinse under a cold tap until the pasta is cold and glossy (this is the secret to a great pasta salad). Shake off as much water as possible.2. While that pasta is cooking whizz the basil and rapeseed oil into a dressing. Use scissors to snip the sunblush tomatoes in their jar, drain the corn and cut the fresh tomatoes in half.3. Once the pasta is well drained, mix through the herb dressing and the pesto. 4. Next add the sunblush tomatoes and a glug of oil from the jar, which has a wonderful flavour, then add the fresh tomatoes and corn. Mix together well and season with black pepper.5. Serve and enjoy!notes: leftover pasta salad will keep happily in the fridge for a few days. Toss it before serving to re-coat in the oil.
Details
Total time:
Yield: Serves 6



Here are a few more pasta salads for you to try:

I took the photos of my Summer pasta salad with my new Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 camera, which I am trying out at the moment. Lovely crisp shots so far.

I am submitting my salad to this month's Speedy Suppers which is hosted by Katie over at Feeding Boys and a Firefighter and Sarah over at Maison Cupcake. The theme this month is Speedy Salads and to Pasta Please hosted this month by Dannii over at Hungry Healthy Happy, he theme is healthy/lightened pasta dishes.

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25 comments:

  1. Lovely pasta dish for a summer picnic. Blessings, Catherine

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    1. Thanks Catherine and yes this would be perfect for a picnic :)

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  2. That's fantastically colourful - you should be adding to Katie's Speedy Suppers since it's a cold pasta salad the theme is salads this month.

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    1. Thanks Sarah and good thinking. I've added the link :)

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  3. A great light and summery pasta dish. I am trying to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible at the moment.

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    1. Because of the heat Dannii? It's not so hot up here in Scotland. I had to put a cardi on this afternoon.

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  4. Hah, belly button pasta. I've never come across this shape before! I'm more of a hot pasta kind of a girl but then again I've never had cold pasta salads before. Maybe it's time for a change...

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    1. Oh you have to try pasta salad Michelle. A good pasta salad is a thing of joy. Just make sure the pasta is al dente and you rinse it in cold water until cool. Then add the dressings.

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  5. Love the combination of all those tomato flavours.... and belly button pasta!

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    1. Hehe it is nice pasta and the flavour is great! More of a serving suggestion than recipe.

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  6. I've seen that pasta at M&S and yes, it does look like a tummy button! Cooper must think it's cute :-) I rarely eat pasta these days (menopause and pasta don't mix...) but it is certainly a go-to for a quick meal. And healthy too when done as you have here. Yum!!

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    1. Really, I didn't realise that about the menopause. That is a shame, it's so comforting and quick.

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  7. Perfect for the heat we're having at the moment - so colourful too.

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  8. I love salads like this. So simple yet rammed with fresh flavour and taste. Can't wait to get off this damn plane and get back home and start cooking with all the lovely ingredients I've brought home from Italy

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    1. Oh you lucky thing Dom. I'm looking forward to catching those recipes :)

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  9. I think the tomatoes this summer have been particularly flavoursome so I've been adding them to everything! This looks a lovely dinner

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  10. looks delicious - that is really cute that you call it belly button pasta - must try it as I get stuck in either fusilli or penne pasta rut

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    1. I know what you mean Johanna, we mostly eat penne, but I've been trying to make an effort and I don't think penne works as well for a cold pasta salad. Too big pieces I think. Bow pasta works well too!

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  11. Looks very tasty and I cannot resist pasta salad at the buffet table!

    Thanks for submitting to Speedy Suppers, the round up is up now at 8 summer salad recipes and I am hosting in August with the theme "picnics".

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  12. This looks lovely - and it's something I could prepare before I collect S from nursery! Might give it a shot!

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    1. Yes it's nice and quick,, but super tasty. The secret is to rinse that pasta under cold water until the pasta is totally cold, to stop the cooking process.

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  13. This looks tasty and easy to prepare! I'm definitely a meat lover so vegetarian food was something I ate really rarely (and I also never tried such a pasta salad), but I decided to eat and live healthier and well, the initiative of Meatless Mondays was my huge inspiration (I guess everyone interested in this lifestyle knows about the campaign but if not, I have read about our branch of it in Toronto here). So these were my first steps and now I'm trying to find my new favourite tastes... :)

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x