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Summer Pasta Salad

Serve this fresh, zesty pasta salad as a side at summer barbecues and weekend feasts with friends, and save the leftovers for lunches throughout the week.

From the book


When the sun shines hard and you fancy pasta but nothing hot, this is the recipe to turn to. With the combination of dried fruit, pine nuts, capers and olives, and the gentle sense of sweet and sour, this leans hard towards Sicily. It’s so good as a side for a couple of roast chickens when you have a large tableful of guests, but plenty delightful enough to make a fine midweek main with a leafy side. It is highly adaptable, but one thing I’d keep constant is a short twisted pasta: if it resembles Brian May’s hair/guitar lead, so much the better to catch the sauce.

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20g (¾oz) basil, leaves picked
2 garlic cloves, peeled
200g (7oz) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
60ml (4 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
finely grated zest and juice of 1 small orange
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
400g (14oz) short pasta
40g (1½oz) currants or raisins
3 tbsp capers
80g (3oz) black olives, roughly chopped
40g (1½oz) pine nuts
small bunch of fennel fronds, roughly chopped
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Essential kit

You will need a blender.


Blend the basil with the garlic, half the tomatoes and the olive oil. Stir in the zest and juice of the orange and lemon.

Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, or until al dente; drain and tip into a bowl.

Stir the dressing and currants through the pasta and allow to cool. Add the rest of the tomatoes, the capers, olives and pine nuts, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Scatter over the fennel fronds before serving.


GF: Use GF pasta.

SEASONAL SWAPS: Try adding a handful of chopped courgettes, or replacing the currants with dried apricots, the fennel fronds for parsley, the citrus for red wine vinegar, and so on.


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