Insalata di pasta ai tonno

Delicious, portable, healthy – pasta salads are perfect dishes for versatility, because they are easily portable and can be served in a myriad of ways. The ingredients used vary widely by region, season, and/or preference of the cook. Pasta salads can be very simple, or as elaborate as several short pastas tossed together with a variety of fresh, preserved or cooked ingredients. These can include vegetables, legumes, cheeses, nuts, herbs, spices, meats, poultry, or seafood. Even though pasta salad is often regarded as a spring or summertime meal, it can be easily served year-round. Here, penne pasta is combined with fresh tasty tomatoes, tuna, anchovies, and hard-boiled eggs. By avoiding fattening and calorie rich dressings, you can enjoy the true taste of the ingredients with a touch of raw olive oil.

Insalata di pasta con tonno

Ingredients: 

100 grams/ 3.5 oz penne rigate or penne pasta

100 grams/ 3.5  oz green beans

280 grams/ 10 oz tomatoes

fresh basil leaves

2 tins of Rio Mare tuna

2 hard-boiled eggs

8 anchovies fillets

a handful of capers

back olives (optional)

olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside to cool down.

Cut the tomatoes lengthwise.

Cook the trimmed green beans in salted boiling water for ca. 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

On a large platter, arrange the tomatoes side by side. Mix the cooked pasta together with the drained tuna and shredded basil leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Put the pasta mix in the middle of the platter, and add the green beans and anchovies fillets. Set the halved eggs right in the middle of the salad. Drizzle some olive oil and season with black pepper. Garnish with capers and basil leaves. Serve as a lunch or dinner.

Insalata di pasta ai tonno

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Insalata di polpo

Insalata di polpo

This is an excellent dish for the upcoming holidays and could easily become your all-time favorite starter. Soft and tender, this festive octopus starter is marinated with the usual suspects – oil, lemon, salt and pepper, and chopped parsley – and is best served at room temperature. The lettuce and rocket leaves complement the fresh taste and provide you with something to chew. You can also choose to serve it as a main course with boiled potatoes. And although the octopus takes some time to prepare, this time the wait is definitely worth it. But if you serve this with Vermentino Italiano DOC white wine, it just becomes unbeatable!

Ingredients: 

1 kg/ 2.2 lb fresh octopus

olive oil for frying

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 dl/ 2/3 cup dry white wine

2-3 small carrots, sliced

celery stalks, sliced 

3-4 bay leaves

olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

minced garlic

chopped parsley

different types of lettuce, rocket etc.

lemon slices for garnish

Instructions:

Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Toss the octopus into the boiling water, return to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Discard water.

Cut the octopus into pieces and saute in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add the wine, carrot, celery, and bay leaf, and stir well. Let the mixture simmer on a low heat for 90 minutes or until all the pieces are soft and tender.

Discard all the vegetables and let the octopus pieces cool down. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, minced garlic and chopped parsley together with the octopus pieces. Arrange different types of lettuce and rocket on a serving tray and add the marinated octopus pieces on top. Garnish with lemon slices.

Insalata di polpo

Cajun chicken salad

Whether you are shedding some extra pounds after Thanksgiving or just too busy planning your Christmas, this is a recipe for you. Easy to prepare but yet delicious, this Cajun chicken salad is a wonderful lunch option. The marinade can be used for other meats and dishes, too.

Ingredients:

Cajun marinade:

Cajun chicken salad4 tsp salt

4 tsp paprika powder

3 tsp garlic powder

3 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2.5 tsp onion powder

1.5 tsp cayenne pepper

1.5 tsp thyme

1.5 tsp oregano

oil

Chicken salad:

Cajun chicken saladoil for frying

400 gr Cajun marinated chicken, in 1 inch/2.54 cm cubes

75 gr rocket salad, Swiss chard, lollo rosso

250 gr cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cucumber, in slices

200 gr mozzarella, in cubes

pine nuts

Instructions:

Cajun chicken saladMarinade: Mix the spices in a bowl. Add a little bit of oil and the chicken cubes. Mix well and let the mixture marinade in the fridge for an hour.

Cajun chicken salad: Heat some oil in a pan and fry the chicken cubes on a medium heat until they are golden. Slice the cucumber and cut the cherry tomatoes in half and mix with rocket salad, Swiss chard and lollo rosso. Add the mozzarella and arrange the chicken cubes on top of the salad. Garnish with pine nuts. Serve with a freshly baked ciabatta or baguette.

Spaghetti con aglio, olio e peperoncino; Insalata di pomodoro

In my opinion, the iconic Spaghetti con aglio, olio e peperoncino is one of the most delicious recipes the Italian cuisine has to offer. Prepare this refreshingly piquant pasta just in a couple of minutes with some olive oil, garlic, chili peppers and flat leaf parsley. Originally, there is no Parmesan cheese, but you might decide to enhance the taste with it. Serve the pasta with a delightful tomato salad. You get the most out of your tomatoes by treating them with coarse sea salt – it will be worth it!

Ingredients: 

olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2-4 dry chili peppers, deseeded and sliced

salt

fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

spaghetti

freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions:

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the chili and garlic and saute over a low heat for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and flat leaf parsley. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente in salted boiling water. Drain the spaghetti and toss with the garlic, chili and parsley. Serve immediately.

Insalata di pomodoro:    

Slice the tomatoes. Sprinkle some coarse sea salt over the tomato slices. Set aside for 30 minutes. To remove the sea salt, shake the tomato slices. Drizzle some olive oil and serve.