Whether you are at a BBQ, a big summer party or simply at home – a delicious pasta salad is always a big hit! Though this takes a little more work and time to prepare, its flavour is definitely worth it! It combines your favourite pasta (I used buckwheat, but any kind works well), blanched spinach, roasted pine nuts and dried tomatoes with a flavourful garlic dressing with fresh spring onions.
The secret which makes this salad extra yummy is using two different kinds of dried tomatoes: The ones stored in olive oil and salted dried tomatoes, which are sold without any additional oil or fluid – is really just tomatoes and salt. Due to their different preservation method, they have a slightly different flavour and texture. While the salted dried tomatoes are – no surprise here – saltier, more flavourful and also a little drier and firmer, the ‘oily’ ones have a mild yet fresh flavour and are a little more ‘squishy’. By using both kinds of dried tomatoes, you get the best of both – and you also prevent your salad from getting to oily or to salty. Just give it a try!
- 120 g pasta
- 200 g fresh spinach
- 6-8 dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 6-8 salted sundried tomatoes
- 50 g pine nuts
- 3 spring onions
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- black pepper
Wash and clean the spinach and cut the bigger leaves into stripes. In a big pot, heat a little water until boiling. Add a handful of spinach, stir well until the spinach wilts. With a slotted spoon, remove the spinach from the pot and place in a colander. Gently press out any excess water. Repeat with the remaining spinach.
Heat a medium sized pot with water, add a pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta until ‘al dente’, drain and set aside to cool. In the meanwhile, drain the dried tomatoes from any excess oil and cut in stripes. Cover the salted sundried tomatoes with water and leave for five minutes, then drain the tomatoes and slice the tomatoes.
In a small non-stick pan, gently roast the pine nuts (without any additional oil!) for a few minutes until golden brown. Wash and clean the spring onions and cut into slices. Chop the garlic as fine as possible. Mix cooked pasta, spinach, tomatoes, spring onions, garlic and pine nuts. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil (you can use the tomato oil) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Note: This serves two persons. And as always with dishes containing spinach – though you probably already know the drill – make sure not to keep it at room temperature for to long! It’s fine to eat any leftovers on the next day if you keep them chilled in your fridge.