The Mediterranean diet is largely plant-based and incorporates the basics of healthy eating. It including generous servings of olive oil together with fresh, local, seasonal and often organic fruits and veggies. In addition to being delicious and nutritious, the Mediterranean diet promotes heart health and general wellbeing.
Learn how to make and enjoy this fabulous Mediterranean pasta salad â?? just perfect for a relaxing summer day.
Ingredients: Fabulous Mediterranean pasta salad
500g pasta: Bow ties, penne and rigatoni all work well
50g pitted black/calamata olives
Two large tomatoes
One large red capsicum (sweet pepper)
Three spring onions
Quarter cup fresh parsley
Quarter cup fresh basil
Three rashers lean bacon (optional)
70-100g fresh feta cheese, crumbled.
25g fresh Parmesan cheese
Quarter cup cold-pressed olive oil
One to two tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
One to two teaspoons plain mustard powder (to taste)
Method: Fabulous Mediterranean pasta salad
1. Cook the pasta according to individual taste. Drain and leave to cool.
2. Prepare the remaining ingredients: Slice the olives and spring onions finely, roughly chop the herbs, finely slice the bacon and grate the Parmesan.
3. Roast the capsicum (sweet pepper): Roast the capsicum in the oven or under the grill until the skin is black and blistered. Allow the capsicum to cool. The flesh inside the skin should still be dark red with no trace of burning.
4. Prepare the tomatoes: While the capsicum is cooling, peel the tomatoes and immerse them in boiling water for a few seconds until the skin splits. Then plunge them into a large bowl of iced water. Dry the tomatoes and carefully remove the skin. Chop into chunks.
5. Peel the capsicum: Carefully peel away the burnt skin of the capsicum and finely slice the remaining flesh.
6. Fry the bacon: Dry fry the bacon in a non-stick pan until crisp. Cool slightly.
7. Make the dressing: Make a simple dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice and mustard in a screw top jar and shake until ingredients are mixed evenly.
8. Assemble the salad: To assemble your fabulous Mediterranean pasta salad, place the pasta, olives, capsicum, tomatoes, bacon, grated Parmesan and herbs in a large bowl. Crumble over the feta cheese.
9. Toss the salad: Mix all the ingredients with the dressing.
10. Serve immediately. The salad, as a main dish, should serve four people.
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