There’s one recipe I always come back to because it’s oh so simple to make – a simple summery pasta salad that can be thrown together for a lazy dinner, or doubled up to make extra for the week ahead. Although I put together a recipe below, this can be altered easily. Try adding chickpeas, tofu, feta, finely sliced red onion or roasted tenderstem broccoli – the options are endless!
My perception of a healthy meal definitely changed as I got older; where once it meant low calorie, now I define a good meal by it’s nutritional value. The more colourful veg I can squeeze in to my breakfast, lunch and dinner, the better! This summery pasta salad is the perfect example of this, because it’s loaded with rainbow produce, alongside healthy fats and filling pasta. I make it for lunch or dinner, or meal prep it on a sunday for the week ahead – it never fails me!
You Will Need
200g tricolore pasta
100g cubed butternut squash
2tbsp cashew nuts
half an avocado, cubed
handful of mixed baby tomatoes, halved
2tbsp sliced black olives
handful of spinach
half a lemon
one clove of garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 180C and add the butternut cubes to a foil-lined tray with a good helping of oil, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Roast for 20 minutes or until cooked through and slightly golden.
Roughly chop the cashew nuts and place them in an ovenproof dish with a little oil and some salt. Light toast for a few minutes in the oven – watch them closely as they’ll cook quickly. Remove when golden and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta following instructions on the pack. Drain, rinse with a little cold water to help cool and then toss with oil.
Chop the spinach by rolling a handful in to a bunch and slicing finely.
Make an easy dressing of a tablespoon or two of good quality olive oil, half a tablespoon of water, the juice of half a lemon, a finely minced garlic clove, salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste. Lightly combine.
Finally, assemble your salad! Place the pasta in a large serving bowl and add your mozzarella, roasted cashew nuts and veg. Pour over your dressing and lightly stir to combine.
Top with fresh parsley and serve in pasta bowls with a glass of chilled white wine. Heavenly!
A+ for taste, B- for effort. Will you be making this?