Warm Pasta Salad With Orzo
Warm Pasta Salad With Orzo

Warm Pasta Salad With Orzo

Make this salad when cherry tomatoes are in season and at their sweetest, then serve it warm for a summer lunch. It’s best to use ripe Hass avocados, as they have such a creamy texture and collapse into the warm pasta. You can always pack this salad to take on a picnic or eat any leftovers for a workday lunch. If you don’t have an extruder to make the orzo, just make another fresh pasta shape or use your favourite brand of dried pasta instead.
Photography: DAVE BROWN
Total Time
30 Minutes
300g of extruded semolina orzo or 250g of dried orzo
60ml of olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced into half-moons
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300g of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, flesh cubed
Grated zest of 1 lemon & juice of ½ lemon
60g of black Kalamata olives, stoned & halved
Bunch of parsley, leaves picked & finely chopped
Bunch of mint, leaves picked & finely chopped
Bunch of basil, leaves picked & torn
30g of parmesan, finely grated
3 tbsp of pine nuts, toasted
Vegan option
Replace the parmesan with 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast or 3 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
Step 1

Gently warm the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and scatter over a large pinch of salt. Stir everything together, cover with a lid and cook on a medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Take the lid off, stir again, and cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium, add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the tomatoes soften and start to burst a little, take the pan off the heat and set to one side to cool slightly.

Step 2

Place the avocado in a large bowl and toss it in the zest and lemon juice. Add the tomato mixture and the olives and stir everything together, then set aside while you cook the pasta.

Step 3

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and season it well with table salt. Cook the orzo for 2-3 minutes until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the avocados and tomatoes, along with all the chopped herbs and the parmesan. Mix well and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Step 4

Transfer the salad to a large bowl, preferably set outside for a summer lunch, and scatter over a handful of toasted pine nuts just before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Pasta Masterclass by Mateo Zielonka (Quadrille, £26) Photography: Dave Brown 

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