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02 February 2011

Picnic Lunch: Cold Pasta With Tuna, Capers, Olives & Tomatoes and Fresh Berries & Mint Salad

Cold conchiglie pasta with tuna, capers, olives & tomatoes.

A hastily packed picnic lunch of cold conchiglie pasta with corn kernels, quartered cherry tomatoes, capers, chopped black olives & canned tuna.

The heat of summer calls for fresh & cold food.  Not only is it very good for our bodies, but also a relief not to cook in a hot kitchen heightened by the intense heat of an oven or stove.  A plate of cold pasta plus a fresh fruit is mainly our diet at home.  

There should be a million ways to create cold pasta dishes.  One of my favorites is this.  It has a superb Mediterranean flavor.  

First off, cook the pasta the usual way.  Boil the water.  Once the water boils, add some rock salt.  Then dump the pasta.  I measure 100 grams per person (60 grams for a child) if there's no main dish to follow, just a dessert or fruit.  Dump 60 - 80 grams if there is a promise of a main dish after.  Follow the cooking time recommended at the pasta box.  Drain, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil & mix.  Leave to cool.  Mix all the ingredients when cool.  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.  I didn't with this pasta because I didn't have any at home.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & season with salt.  
I didn't give any measured quantities of the ingredients because you are free to adjust the taste.   I like my cold pasta tasty so I put a lot of each. 

For dessert, some fresh salad of berries & mint is refreshing too.  I combined strawberries, raspberries & blackberries in a bowl, added a few chopped fresh mint leaves, about a couple of spoons of white sugar (depends on how sweet you want it), a squeeze of lemon & a dash of white Vermouth.  You can substitute the Vermouth with a good limoncello too or use both.  If you have kids, like I do, separate a bowl before dousing the berries with alcohol. 

Fiano Romano

 The entrance of Abbazia di Farfa

 Abbazia di Farfa


 Abbazia di Farfa

Nazzano