Bored of winter produce? Here is the brightest pasta salad!

This pasta salad has become such a staple in my routine, that it is easy to forget how awesome it is. And I can assure you that this pasta salad is like summer in dark winter days.
For this salad I usually raid our cupboards, which makes it extra convenient on weekdays. I have used jarred (marinated) artichokes, frozen avocado cubes (!), dried pasta, feta cheese, loads of lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin oil and green herbs to make the shiniest and sunniest salad possible. The best part is that you make the dressing in the salad bowl, which means less dishes! As an extra note on the frozen avocado, I was hesitative at first (and rather afraid that they would be a little mushy), but am really enthusiastic at this point, especially because it makes me feel like less cooled air freight was needed to Europe. For all the Dutchies among us: you can buy it at the Albert Heijn (!).

I’ve made a bazzilion variations and in case you do not have some of the ingredients, I can comfort you that you can easily make swap in raw spinach leaves, juicy black olives, lime juice or braised celery stalks with great succes.

I find that it really pays off to use the best pasta available (I always buy DeCecco), and cook it really al dente, as the pasta tends to soften a little in the dressing (especially if you leave leftovers overnight, which I usually do).

I’m looking forward to find this in our fridge any day. 🙂

Bored of winter produce? Here is the brightest pasta salad!

Ingredients

  • 500 grams dried pasta, such as conchiglioni or any smaller shape (preferably good quality)
  • 2 large ripe, soft avocados, cubed (or 260 grams frozed cubed avocado)
  • 1 jar of artichokes, drained (around 180 grams)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil (or high-quality olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of mild mustard
  • Optionally: a handful of chopped fresh green herbs, such as chives, parsley or mint
  • 75 grams of pumpkin seeds (or alternatively you could use choped pecan nuts, or pine nuts)
  • 200 grams of soft feta cheese

Instructions

  1. This serves 4 hungry adults, with likely quite some leftovers.
  2. Boil the pasta all dente, and in the meanwhile drain your jar of artichokes in a colander. There is no need to clean the colander before you drain your pasta in it.
  3. Juice the lemons and pour this into a large salad bowl. In this bowl, add the mustard and pumpkin seed oil. Give this a quick whisk with a fork and add the cubed avocados.
  4. Make sure to cover the avocado in the dressing immediately to prevent them from turning brown.
  5. Add the artichokes, hot pasta, pumpkin seeds and feta cheese and mix everthing up properly. The heat of the pasta ensures that all aromas get mixed even better.
  6. Serve luke-warm or cold. Enjoy!
https://tukskitchen.com/2017/02/21/brightest-winter-pasta-salad/

Homemade Ravioli

Making pasta is one of those things that are in their essence connected to a certain kind of calm happiness. I suppose that preparing and rolling pasta requires attention, time and quite the bit of love.
This is not something to make for a dinner party or a large group of people, but rather for a very special dinner date, on a weekend day where you have all time to yourself.
Then, considering all of this, why would you want to go through all of this? Well, I think the reason is that it is very therapeutic to make something this beautiful, and on top of that (and maybe way more important), it will make a meal to remember. 🙂
Now that I have the luxury of some time on my hands before I officially start my new job here in Frankfurt (!), I was happy to pull out my pasta machine again after a long time.
The inspiration for this recipe comes from the book called Everything you need to know about Pasta, which I consider a really good book, rather opposite to the rather over-saturated amount of work written on the subject.
The book is getting old (and I am afraid a little dirty and dusty with flour), but I keep getting back to it, sometimes just for its beautiful prints, but most often to get some inspiration for Italian classics.
Making ravioli is taking the pasta project a step further. In case this is the first time you are making pasta, I would suggest you start of with a simple pappardelle, lasagna sheets, or spaghetti.
The ravioli pillows tend to behave a little unruly and having a bit of experience with pasta dough in general will make this a bit easier.