Caprese Tomato Pasta Salad

tomato pasta salad, vegan We seem to live off salad in the summer – to me there is not much more delightful than an array of stunning salads to dive into on a warm sunny day. But if we have them too often it’s easy to revert to the old family favourites again and again.

My girls love pasta salad, so much so that its become the ‘what I want to eat when I’m not feeling great’ staple! But like most children they like simple flavours with nothing too challenging. This was an attempt to get them to enjoy fresh tomatoes which they simply won’t eat (I have no idea why, I think tomatoes are one of the best foods on the planet!), I thought that if the tomatoes were in the pasta salad then maybe, just maybe they would be tempted. Well, I was wrong. There was no fooling them and the salad was left to one side. However, it was only a partial disaster as it left more for me and D and it is an absolute stunner of a salad, especially when made with a gorgeous array of sweet, ripe tomatoes. Do make sure they are the best tomatoes you can find as there are so few ingredients in the salad you really need the tomato flavour to shine through.

If you love tomatoes I’m sure you’ll love this recipe. If you like tomatoes you’ll find they work so beautifully with the pasta, balsamic vinegar and basil that you will start to love them. If you hate tomatoes, well, maybe this isn’t the right recipe for you!

Caprese Tomato Pasta Salad (egg-free, dairy-free ,nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) caprese pasta salad serves 4

200g pasta 200g mixed tomatoes, chopped fairly small Large handful of basil, roughly chopped 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper

  1. Whisk together the oil, vinegar and seasoning.
  2. Whilst the pasta is warm mix in the dressing, stir well and leave to cool to room temperature
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and basil, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary – easy huh?

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Mediterranean vegetable and parsley Pasta Salad

I love parsley – it’s so versatile but can often be overlooked by more flamboyant herbs. This pasta salad certainly lets the parsley shine, and uses those sunny Mediterranean vegetables that take my right back to the sunshine of Provence.

Mediterranean vegetable and parsley pasta salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 4

  • 1/2 pack of pasta
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 courgette, cut into small cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, skin on
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 6
-Place the vegetables and garlic in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly season.
– Roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and starting to char. Keep warm.
– Cook the pasta according to the directions on the pack
– Meanwhile, squeeze the roasted garlic out of their skins and mash. Whisk in the oil, vinegar and seasoning. Taste.
– Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and immediately stir in the dressing and roasted vegetables.
– Leave to cool.
– Taste and add more vinegar, seasoning as required
– Stir in the finely chopped parsley and serve

Herby Pasta Salad

This hot weather has made me want to eat more salads than normal. A fresh salad, in my opinion, is the perfect summer’s day lunch. This pasta salad is zingy, fresh and packed full of herbs. Inspired by a recipe in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest this salad is definitely worth trying…

Herby Pasta Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

  • 200g dried pasta shapes
  • 2 tbps red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • handful of sunflower seeds, toasted (or mix of sunflower/pine nuts)
  • handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • optional, if can tolerate dairy: handful grated vegetarian parmesan
  • other optional additions: cherry tomatoes, olives, sun-blush tomatoes, diced cucumber, sweetcorn

– Cook the pasta until al dente

– Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and garlic.

– Add the pasta, along with the onion and peppers to the marinade, mix well.

– Leave to cool.

– Add the other ingredients and stir well to fully combine.

– Eat at room temperature.