02 June 2011

Luke Warm Pasta Salad


I've caught the Ottolenghi bug. Was there a life before his latest cookbook? I can scarcely remember. I've cooked my way through approximately a third of "Plenty", and I keep returning for more. For lunch, we had a small salad from our garden followed by this luke warm, sweet-and-sour pasta salad.

I used the recipe as a starting point but made a few changes. Ottolenghi's salad is intended as a cold starter, having marinated for several hours in the fridge. We simply couldn't wait, and it was delicious luke warm. I used a mixture of whole and ordinary wheat linguine instead of soba noodles, and roasted my aubergines as I don't wish to spend the summer looking like the Michelin man!

120 ml rice wine vinegar
40 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
cayenne pepper, to taste
juice of 1 lime, and grated zest (use either an untreated lemon or lime)
1 tsp sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 200 C. To make the marinade, dissolve salt and sugar in the vinegar over a low heat. Take off the heat, add the remaining ingredients (above).

1 mango, cubed
2 aubergines, cut into 2 cm cubes
a little olive oil
salt and pepper
1 spring onion, sliced
250 g pasta
plenty chopped, fresh herbs: I used basil, parsley, coriander and mint.

In a bowl, rub a little olive oil into the aubergine cubes, then spread on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Roast for 15-20 minutes in a hot oven. Place the mango with all its juice into a large serving dish, add the spring onion and the marinade. When the aubergines are soft and brown, add these as well, season with salt and pepper. Now cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the dish, sprinkle with your herbs and serve luke warm. Hmmm....

PS. We had a tiny portion left which went into the fridge to continue marinating. I'm not sure it's better but it's certainly not worse, either. Ice cold, it would be a perfect dish for a summer picknick. 

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