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Spelt pasta salad with Mozzarella and arugula-hazelnut pesto
 
 
spelt-pasta-salad-arugula-hazelnut-pesto
 

Ok, ok, I know. I’m Italian and I’m not neutral, but…Isn’t Italian Pasta one of best foods existing in the world?
And if aliens cooking, don’t you think that they would love Italian Pasta? Xenomorph not included, of course. It love meat, indisputably.
Hum…let me coming back on the Earth.
You can cook Italian pasta in the traditional way and use many kind of condiments, you can bake it for an irresistible and crunchy result, and you can use it to make a fresh, summery pasta salad, like in this case.
Apart the traditional durum wheat semolina pasta (love it!), to vary your pasta salads, I suggest you to try different types available in the best grocery stores (as whole wheat, spelt, buckwheat pasta).

 
PREP. 20 MINS
COOK 8 MINS
SERVES 6
 
INGREDIENTS

120 grams → 4.2 ounces spelt “Penne” pasta

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil divided

50 grams → 1.8 ounces fresh arugula

20 grams → 0.7 ounce shelled, peeled and roasted hazelnuts

The freshly grated zest of 1/4 of non waxed lemon

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

120 grams → 4.2 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 
METHOD

Cook the spelt pasta in boiling salted water until “al dente” (see cooking time indicated on the packaging - 8 minutes in my case).

Drain, season with 1/2 teaspoon of oil, and place in a large dish.

Allow to cool.

Place arugula, hazelnuts, remaining oil, lemon juice, grated lemon zest, and coarse salt in a mortar.

Work with a pestle to crush arugula and hazelnuts and to get a coarse pesto. Keep aside.

Drain Mozzarella from its conservation liquid and dry with kitchen paper.

Cut into 1 centimeter (1/3-inch) cubes.

Combine pasta, Mozzarella, and pesto in a bowl.

Season with black pepper and stir gently.

Cover with plastic wrap, than let stand in the fridge for 1 hour.

Pull out of the fridge. Salad must be at room temperature.

Serve in stem champagne glasses or glass cups, pull out of the fridge.

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