Picnic Pasta Salad and a Special #PastaFriday Event

Picnic Pasta (8117)So last Friday I announced that I’ll be posting a pasta recipe every week. Today I’ve decided to make it an event. Why not?! So if you are a food blogger and you love pasta, this can be the space for you. To participate in this weekly event, on a Friday or during the weekend, I invite you to write a post on your blog accompanied of course by a pasta recipe. What you need to do next is very simple:

  1. Include a link to your post in a comment on my post for that week.
  2. Include a link to my post in your own blog post. Don’t reblog the post. A simple link will do.
  3. If you use Twitter promote your post with #PastaFriday so everyone will be able to see it.

Easy. This event will run up to October 2nd, at least for the time being.

Now onto this recipe which I have promised you ages ago but never got round to it. It’s an off-the-cuff one simply because everyone does pasta salad differently. Everyone comes up with many variants most of the time. I have to be honest here: there has been a time (I suspect that it’s not over) that this became one of my regular go-to suppers as it’s easy to prepare and good for transport. Also it’s a good one for making use of things I just want to use up. I open the fridge and voila you have a meal. I have made it during these hot months for friends coming at the house at the last minute, especially during those intermittent weeks where I skipped my otherwise regular grocery shop.

The photo above was taken a few years ago on one of our walks while still in the UK. I have good memories of that day. The weather wasn’t that good but the beautiful English countryside always has good stuff to offer. I loved the fact that I could buy a £1 bag full of the freshest Victoria plums from the front of a lovely cottage garden and put the money into a tin. Things like that make me happy. I ate the whole bag (Johann only asked for two) so I had dessert before stopping for our pasta lunch. I was afraid I was going to be full by the end of that, but there really wasn’t any need to worry as I ate the whole thing, as we watched some dressage lessons from the other side of the fence. The surrounding greenery also gave us some great photo ops, which you can see in a previous post.

As always keep me posted if you try the recipe and please tell me and share your favourite flavour combos for pasta salads. I really want to know! Good luck!

Serves 2.

  • 250g dried fusilli
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon, or more to taste
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 150g halloumi cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 100g ham, cut into small cubes
  • a few basil leaves, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 large tomato, washed and cut into chunks

Extra seasoning, if needed:

  • salt and pepper*
  • extra virgin olive oil

Boil a pot of water and cook the dried pasta according to packet instructions. Use and kind of dried pasta you prefer.

In a measuring jug or small bowl create a simple dressing by whisking together the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard.

In a large bowl – as in large enough for you to be able to toss the pasta with ease in it – tip in the halloumi, ham, basil and tomatoes.

When the pasta is done, drain it and add it in the bowl together with the cheese and ham mixture. Pour in the mustard dressing and give everything a good mix.

Give it a taste and add more seasoning and/or olive oil if needed. I don’t think you will need to put too much salt. For one, you will extract most of the water from the tomato and you’ll end up with a watery mess by the time you arrive at your picnic spot. Also remember that halloumi is salty already.*

Divide the pasta into two individual portions, ready to take with you on your picnic

Rob.

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