Friday, 8 May 2015

Fresh, Light and Just Right!

Insalata di Pasta, Zucchinetti, Erbe Aromatiche & Limone
Pasta Salad with Baby Zucchini, Aromatic Herbs & Lemon


Although we are not quite there just yet... Surely the warmer weather will start happening soon! And when it does, we will be thinking of making less soups and more salads!

Which was part of the reason that I decided to re-think, re-imagine and re-invent what my idea of a good pasta salad should be!


None of those (in my humble little opinion), nasty, mayonnaise-based salads, none of the thick and heavy, creamy sauces, but more of the light, fresh flavors that Summer should be about! That's the way, uh-hu, uh-hu, I like it!


I had some of those delightful, baby zucchini left over from last night, so I decided of course to put them to good use, but regular zucchini will do just fine flavor-wise. I had 8 of the babies, but I am guessing that 2 regular, small zucchini would be about equivalent and enough to make 1 good bowl of salad.

The only other things I needed were a little shallot, or onion, a lemon and some fresh basil, oregano and mint. Obviously, I needed the pasta, fusilli in this case, salt, pepper and olive oil... But it would have been hard to have made a pasta salad without those ingredients, right? Haha!


You can make the same dish with regular zucchini of course, or maybe green asparagus, or mushrooms, or practically any vegetable you may prefer- as long as you can slice them up thinly... The whole secret is to keep things simple and light and to let the herbs, lemon juice and olive oil do all the work for you... And they will do so wonderfully!


Chop your onion or shallot up very finely, slice up the zucchini as thinly as possible and chop or grate the zest of the lemon. Once you have done this, you can start the pasta boiling and get your frying nice and hot to prepare the veggies... It is all go from this point on!


Whilst the pasta is boiling, fry the onion and zucchini together with plenty of salt, pepper, a good sprinkle of lemon zest and the fresh oregano, with a splash of olive oil, until they begin to turn brown. This will give everything a chance to develop and to absorb all of those good flavors.


Add the pasta, the juice of half a lemon, the finely chopped mint and a little more olive oil, stir through for 2-3 minutes longer, so that the flavors and aroma develop and blend together... And then allow to cool. Sigh!


You can serve the pasta lukewarm as I did... Basically because I was starving and couldn't wait! Or of course chilled. The great thing is that the zucchini soaks up the olive oil and lemon juice of course... But as it cools, they seep back out and in turn become absorbed by the pasta... Along with the sweet flavor of the zucchini themselves... Perfect!


Perfect, light, tasty, pretty and delicious Summer food! who could ask for anything more? Well... Except for another serving, maybe!



  1. Hey there!
    I'm from the Cooking with Dog FB-Group and just wanted to ask you, where you get those cute baby zucchini? :) I live in Frankfurt, too, and am quite surprised to find someone living so near, who also enjoys food! Keep up the good work - I'll try this pasta salad as soon as i can get my hands on some lemons (dont have any left). Looks like the perfect work lunch!

    Grettings, Thuy

  2. Thank you Thuy! I got them from the Kleinmarkthalle, my favorite place to shop! I am glad you like the recipe! Thanks and best wishes from Francesco.