Pasta salads are usually that grim, mayo laden picnic dish that no one really touches until the al fresco wine hits and any carb will do.
That is certainly not the case with this wonderfully fragrant pasta salad that combines the sweetness of the strawberries with the tanginess of balsamic vinegar, black pepper, dijon mustard and honey, finished off with the irresistibly creaminess of some freshly torn burrata mixed through.
The addition of spinach, wilted by the cooked pasta, crunchy cucumber and freshly torn basil, makes this pasta salad pretty much summer in a bowl, rustled up incredibly quickly and not only looking like a real treat but tasting as good, at room temperature, once you have reached your chosen picnic patch!
Trust me, this concoction will make you re-think pasta salads and and will be a great centre piece for any summer outdoor dining occasion!
- 500g strawberries, quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper plus more for topping
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 500g farfalle pasta
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove minced
- pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 150g baby spinach
- 1 seedless cucumber thinly sliced
- 2 balls of burrata, roughly torn
- Bunch of basil, roughly torn
- Place the strawberries in a large bowl and pour the balsamic vinegar over top.
- Sprinkle on the black pepper and toss the strawberries well.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions.
- While the pasta is boiling, pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar into a smaller bowl from the big bowl of strawberries.
- Whisk in the honey, dijon mustard, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Stream in the olive oil while whisking until the dressing is combined.
- Place the fresh spinach on top of the strawberries in the bowl.
- As soon as the pasta is finished, drain it and place it on top of the spinach.
- Drizzle on a few tablespoons of the dressing so the pasta doesn't stick together.
- Let the pasta sit, untossed, on top of the spinach so it wilts - about 5 minutes.
- Toss the pasta with the spinach and the strawberries until it is combined.
- Add in the cucumber, burrata and basil.
- Sprinkle on some extra black pepper and toss with more dressing.