Italian Summer Pasta Salad

 Italian Summer Pasta Salad1

 

After radio silence for 3 weeks, I’m back. Again. Can’t say for how long but I am here. So how are things guys? Here, monsoon has almost arrived and summer is officially over (for good!). But here I am, with a huge backlog of summer recipes. What am I to do when all these days I have been cooking all things “summery” regularly but not getting time to post them. Let’s just say that it is still summer somewhere in the world, right?! 😉

I love anything and everything Italian so when I came across this pretty looking salad on Sommer’s amazing blog I knew I had to get to it pronto. It is so good and SO refreshing! Zests of orange and lemon, al dente pasta, orange chunks, tiny tomatoes and torn basil all tied together with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. What’s not to love? Must try, whatever time of year it is for you.

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend.
Stay cozy, it’s gonna be a rainy one! xx

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad3

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad

Recipe scaled down & adapted from A Spicy Perspective

Yield: 2-3 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat Farfalle pasta
  • 1 naval orange, zest and orange segments
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup scallions, cut into 1 inch segments
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • 3 Tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, zest the orange and lemon. Place the zest and the juice of lemon in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk. Peel the orange, gently break the segments apart and seed them. Place them in the bowl.
  3. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl. Then pour the drained pasta over the tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Add the scallions and basil leaves to the bowl and toss. Salt and pepper generously, about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: I didn’t have scallions at hand so I had to skip them but they are highly recommended as it’d add some crunch & make the dish all the more flavorsome. 🙂

 

Italian Summer Pasta Salad2

Farfalle with Fresh Coriander and Cashew Pesto

As I have proclaimed here before…. I looovvveee pasta!

And my all time favorite pasta sauce is basil pesto.

But then I came across this creamy coriander pesto & now, I have a new favorite!

Fresh coriander & Cashew Sauce2

On a rainy evening, hubby & I were sipping coffee at our favorite cafe located down the street from our house. They have quite a versatile menu and I really love the place. One pasta sauce in there really caught my eye and I had to order it immediately. It was a spicy coriander and cashew sauce prepared in cream cheese and was served over Conchiglie (shell shaped) pasta.

The dish was so delectable that I had to replicate it at home with bit of a guesswork. Of course my version differed from theirs as I did not use cream cheese and did not add red chili flakes. But it was every bit as scrumptious if not better! Now would I lie to you? NO! So believe me 🙂

It is a pesto sauce so you have your usual suspects.. fresh herb, garlic and nuts!

The pesto has a fresh summery fragrance from fresh coriander and a rich texture from cashews. I used Farfalle pasta instead as that is what I had on hand.

You would be really surprised at how creamy it turned out and pretty low in calories too! Very delicate dish all in all! 🙂

So let’s get down to the recipe!

Fresh coriander & Cashew Sauce1

Farfalle with Fresh Coriander and Cashew Pesto

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Farfalle pasta, cooked al dente as per the package direction
  • 2 cups fresh coriander leaves (packed into measuring cup)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2-3 hours
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup hot milk and 1 cup hot water, mixed together
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (I omitted it)

Directions:

  1. Cook 2 cups of Farfalle pasta in salted boiling water as per the direction mentioned on the package. Once pasta has cooked al dente, drain the water and start preparing the sauce.
  2. Add coriander leaves, garlic cloves, soaked cashews, pinch of salt and 1/4 cup milk in a blender and blitz till you get a soft puree. Add little milk if required.
  3. In a pan, melt the butter and add flour to it. Let the flour cook for about 3-4 minutes on a low heat.
  4. Add hot milk and hot water mixture to the pan and whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Add grated cheese. Cheese will melt and mixture will thicken a bit in about 5 minutes.
  5. Add pureed coriander mixture in a pan and whisk. Season with salt and pepper as per your taste. Add red chili flakes if you want a hint of spice. Add pasta to this and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes so that pasta has absorbed the sauce. Serve immediately.