Penne salad with bresaola and black olives

    35 min

    Fresh basil, rocket, peppers, olives and tomatoes give a summery, Mediterranean flavour to this prepare-ahead salad. It makes a nutritious main course because it's high in starchy carbohydrates with just enough protein from the bresaola, which is Italian cured beef. To complete the theme, serve it with olive ciabatta.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 340 g (12 oz) penne or other pasta shapes
    • 1 red pepper, halved lengthways and seeded
    • 100 g (3½ oz) sliced bresaola, cut into thin strips
    • 1 can stoned black olives in brine, about 185 g, drained, rinsed and sliced
    • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, patted dry and sliced
    • 200 g (7 oz) yellow or red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • 40 g (1½ oz) rocket or young spinach leaves
    • 20 g (¾ oz) fresh basil leaves, shredded
    • Balsamic dressing
    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. Drop the pasta into a large saucepan of boiling water. When the water returns to the boil, cook for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain well and place in a large bowl.
    2. Whisk together the oil and vinegar for the dressing, season with salt and pepper to taste and pour over the pasta. Toss well to mix, then cover and set aside.
    3. Preheat the grill to high. Put the pepper halves, cut sides down, on the grill rack and grill for 5–6 minutes or until the skin is blistered and blackened all over. Place the peppers in a polythene bag and leave until they are cool enough to handle. Using your fingers and the tip of a knife, remove the skins. Cut the flesh into thin strips.
    4. Add the pepper strips, bresaola, olives and sun-dried tomatoes to the pasta and mix gently together. Add the tomatoes, rocket or spinach and basil to the pasta mixture and toss the ingredients together gently with your hands, taking care not to break up the tomatoes. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve at room temperature.

    Some more ideas

    The salad can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead and chilled. Remove it from the fridge 15 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature, and add the tomatoes, rocket and basil at the last minute. * Instead of bresaola, you can use Parma ham. * For a German-style potato and frankfurter salad, cook 400 g (14 oz) scrubbed new potatoes in boiling water, then drain and cool. Heat 2 frankfurters in simmering water for 3 minutes; drain and slice. Make the dressing with 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar and 1 tsp German mustard. Cut the potatoes in half and toss with the dressing and frankfurters. Cover and chill until about 15 minutes before serving, then add 100 g (3 1/2 oz) young spinach leaves and toss gently.

    Plus points

    Being a starchy carbohydrate, pasta is an excellent energy-giving and satisfying food for all the family. The energy is slowly released as the pasta is digested, so helping to prevent between-meal hunger pangs. * Tomatoes and red peppers are both excellent sources of beta-carotene (the plant form of vitamin A) and vitamin C . * Cutting, chopping or slicing tomatoes just before serving preserves as much of their vitamin C content as possible.

    Each serving provides

    A, B1, B6, C, E, niacin * copper, iron, magnesium * B2, folate, calcium, selenium, zinc

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