| Late Summer Salad |

Inspired by Antenna | Bonobo

It’s not yet completely grey or raining all the time yet. It’s still OK to sit at a terrace or, even better, to make the most of your own or your friends’ terraces. Great. Now here’s a dish which is very easy to make, inexpensive and will be perfect for the last evenings of summer. For « Picnic » lovers  (please read : beautiful bucolic setting, not banks of the Seine) will also work.

The idea came to me when I stumbled on Antenna by Bonobo. I find it’s somewhere between repetitive / draining lounge  (lift music) and pleasant background music (easy listening at home.) Listening to it really made me want to be around friends one last time in that carefree state that is the end of summer before the scarves come out and it’s time to get back into the rhythm of autumn.

| Ingredients |

_ 500 g fusillis

Obviously fresh is best – fusillis for me –  but you can work some magic with good De Cecco pasta (amazing quality/price ratio) available in a lot of supermarkets in Paris even those without an italian corner. Personally, I think big pasta pieces are better adapted to the recipe.

_  2 red peppers

_ 2 medium courgettes

_ 2-6 buffalo mozzarella – I’m pro-mozzarella & always use lots of it. Deal at 4?

dried tomatoes

_ fresh basil

pine nuts

_ extra virgin olive oil

_ ground salt & pepper

The quantities really depend on what you like. Invest in some quality salt and pepper though, it really makes a difference.

| Method |

It’s real quick. Put the water in the pan. Italian rules apply: 1L water per 100g of pasta. Plan B is to cook the 500g in a tiny Ikea pan. But, frankly, if you can invest in a good-sized pan, you’ll discover pasta cooked al dente with the right amount of water is the best.

Let’s continue. Add some salt to the water and then get started on the vegetables. You can cut the red peppers and dried tomatoes into strips and set aside.

Cut the courgettes into round slices of medium thickness and then in half to make a half-moon.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and chuck in those courgettes. Fry until they are nicely golden and leave to cool down.

Keep an eye on the water which is rapidly approaching 100°C. It’s Boiling!  It’s time to put the pasta in the water; leave to cook according to the time recommended on the packet, until it is just al dente.

Meanwhile, chop the fresh basil and the mozzarella into strips.

Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water (to stop the cooking) so that the mozzarella won’t melt; we’re looking to avoid big chunks. Mix all the other ingredients in a salad bowl and add the pasta.

Toss well making sure to evenly distribute any ingredients hiding at the bottom of the bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil, season with ground salt and pepper, place artistically on a plate with some pine nuts and smile whilst starring at your beautiful salad.

♪ Come let’s bring light to the night of need…

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