Sometimes I find myself heading to work at late notice, and I need to make something quick, satisfying and portable to eat. This salad does the trick. It’s got punchy flavours, a nice range of textures and colours, and some bite. You don’t feel sorry for yourself when you get it out because it looks so pretty. Shaking it around in a tupperware as you get from A to B only makes it better.
300g dried pasta
8 sun dried tomatoes
150g spinach (roughly – as much as you have)
4 tbsp grated vegetarian parmesan
a handful of basil leaves
optional extras: toasted pine nuts, capers, fresh tomatoes, avocado, chilli flakes, or really anything you have lying around
Takes 15 minutes to make
Stage one: Fill the kettle and get out the pasta and sun dried tomatoes. I use packet sun dried tomatoes because I find them easier to deal with and store, but that may just be me. I’m telling you this because when the kettle has boiled and you start to boil the pasta, you put sun dried tomatoes from a packet in a ramekin and pour boiling water over them too. This will make the tomatoes plump and go nice and soft, but you don’t need to do this with tomatoes that have been stored in oil. Now leave them to cook/soak.
Stage two: Time to prep all the other ingredients. Wash the spinach and distribute between bowls/tupperwares. Slice the basil. Grate the parmesan. Get out the rest of the ingredients and any added extras. Just before the pasta is done, drain the sun dried tomatoes and roughly chop them.
Stage three: Drain the pasta. Distribute onto the spinach. The sprinkle the tomatoes, basil, parmesan and added extras on top. Drizzle on olive oil (about 1 tbsp per serving) and lemon juice (about 1 tsp per serving), and season.