The theme for this month's Forever Nigella challenge hosted by Sarah at Maison Cupcake is 'Ciao Italia'. The selection of Italian inspired recipes from Nigella cookbooks are pretty much endless. When thinking of Italian food, my immediate thought is pasta. Of course, Italian food is more than just pasta, but I simply LOVE pasta. I could happily eat pasta every single day.
Then again, there are still so many pasta recipes to choose from. But since I am currently giving up meat for lent, I need to look for vegetarian options and this pasta salad primavera from Nigella's Feast which she described as 'eating proof that you can't have too much of a good thing' is just perfect.
I altered some of the vegetables from the original recipe to suit what I already have at home. I omitted the broad beans because I couldn't be bothered to remove the casings, pure laziness I'm gonna be honest; and I added more of the peas... frozen of course, don't be silly. I also replaced the mangetout with its fatter sibling, the sugar snap peas and because I couldn't find chives today, I used spring onions.
The beauty of this dish, next to its healthy-deliciousness is it can be made well in advance and leave it in the fridge in a Tupperware or something similar for easy pickings for a good few days though I doubt this will last that long. I'm gonna be out most of the afternoon and when I get home later I knew I have something tasty to eat...
Enjoy your weekend!
Pasta Salad Primavera
Recipe inspired by Nigella Lawson
500 g Orzo pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
500 g asparagus
300 g petit pois
180 g sugar snap peas
250 g fine beans
1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 spring onions, finely sliced
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, and after draining the cooked orzo, rinse under cold water and leave to drain again. Tip the drained pasta to a large mixing bowl and stir through the olive oil to prevent it from clumping together.
Bring a large pan of water to a boil, and add some salt. Meanwhile, snap the woody ends off the asparagus and then cut each stalk into a 2.5 cm pieces. Cook each vegetable in the boiling water until almost cooked through but with a bite (al dente). You have to taste as you go to get the timing right. Like Nigella, I also find it easier to cook each one in turn, placing a sieve, and refreshing under a cold tap.
Tip the cooked, refreshed and drained vegetables into the pasta and dress with the garlic oil, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest, and the finely sliced spring onions. Mix together and taste to check the seasoning, then decant into a bowl.