I love this time of year.
The air is filled with the scent of just cut grass, the market shelves are groaning under the weight of mangoes, cherries and stone fruit and afternoons are spent escaping the hot sun in the back yard wading pool.
The long hot summer days leading up to Christmas are just wonderful.
During the summer months I love to take full advantage of this beautiful weather so we usually begin our day with a huge walk around the park, building up a sweat, breathing in the fresh air and soaking in the early morning still tolerable sun.
Returning home we dive into our summertime breakfast of mango smoothies, alongside a little stone fruit and toast and then the summer times fun begins.
With a one year old on my hands, keeping little Miss entertained and busy through the extra long days is challenging so I usually devise a rough plan or to do list for the day and travel around an array of fun little activities I have set up.
We spend the day playing, reading books, riding trikes, enjoying the park playground and our favourite summer past time swimming in the pool.
Tuckered out from all of the action, Miss G. usually winds down for a early afternoon nap which gives me a chance to run around like a mad woman and accomplish a few chores and hopefully get onto dinner. I love to get dinner done and out of the way before evening rolls around. I find the more relaxed I am around bed time, the easy little miss is to get to sleep.
Thanks to a few extra loads of washing today I didn’t quite get to dinner before Miss G. was awake. So with my lovely little helper by my side I put together this super simple pasta salad of perfectly aldente calice, fresh juicy tomatoes, punchy herbs, olives and creamy bocconcini all smothered in a gorgeous basil pesto dressing.
This pasta salad is a family favourite and the perfect salad to serve christmas day. It’s fresh, light, full of flavour, easy to prepare and a complete crowd pleaser.
To create this wonderfully fragrant pasta salad perfect for the entire family simply…
Begin by bringing a large pot of water to the boil. Add pasta and cook according to packet instructions or until aldente. Drain and rinse with a little cool water. Set aside.
Whilst the pasta is bubbling away prepare your vegetables. Thinly slice two spring onions, chop a punnet of cherry tomatoes into halves, quarter a handful of vine tomatoes, and slice half a cucumber into rough chunks.
NOTE: Depending on the age of your little one you may prefer to chop the tomatoes and cucumber into chunkier ‘match stick’ shaped pieces so that they are easier for teeny tiny hands to pick up and nibble on.
To create the wonderfully fragrant dressing simply place the pesto, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice into a small bowl and whisk to combine.
To assemble the salad place the cooked pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, basil and salad dressing into a large bowl and toss to combine.
Add the olives and bocconcini and mix once again.
Serve immediately for a wonderfully bright and fresh lunch or simple supper. Enjoy x
festive pasta salad
adapted from Jamie Oliver
500 grams short pasta (fusilli, penne or rigatoni)
half a lebanese cucumber
4 vine ripened tomatoes
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
8 bocconcini balls
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 heaped tablespoons basil pesto
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions or until aldente. Drain, run under a little cool water and set aside.
Whilst the pasta is bubbling away, chop up your vegetables. Chop the cucumber into chunks, quarter the tomatoes, halve the cherry tomatoes and thinly slice the spring onions.
To make the dressing, place the pesto, olive oil, lemon juice and zest into a small bowl and mix to combine.
To assemble the salad place the cooked pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, basil and dressing into a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the olives and bocconcini and mix to combine. Enjoy immediately for a lovely lunch or simple supper x
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