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Monday, 25 July 2011

Meatree Monday -Ricotta and Pesto Pasta Salad

This is a delicious lunchbox treat, picnic lunch or easy lunch/dinner at home.  It's filling and relatively cheap to make at the moment with everything in season.  You can eat it on it's own or as a side salad, great for a bring-a-plate BBQ dish too.

250g dried pasta (fusilli works well)

250g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

200g thin green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

250g cherry tomatoes, halved

200g ricotta

75g spinach leaves

60g (1/4 cup) green pesto (homemade or store bought)

1 Tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tblsp hot water

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water according to the packet intructions or as al dente as you prefer it to be.  Add the asparagus and beans to the boiling pasta water in the last couple of minutes of pasta cooking time. 

Whilst the pasta is cooking, combine the pesto, ricotta, lemon juice and water to make a dressing. 

Drain the pasta and vegetable.  Pick out the vegetables and ut them under some cold running water.  This stops them cooking and keeps their vibrant green colour.  Drain the vegetables well and then set aside wiht the pasta to cool completely.

Put the pasta, vegetables, tomatoes and spinach into a large bowl.  Add the pesto dressing to the pasta, vegetables and spinach leaves.  Toss well to combine everything and then serve.

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