Pasta salad may have a less-than-glamorous reputation, but when it’s packed with juicy tomatoes and dressed with a piquant vinaigrette it will challenge your perceptions.
- 4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
- ½ small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 400 gm mixed cherry tomatoes
- 300 gm dried spiral pasta
- 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
- 1 cup (loosely packed) rocket, coarsely torn
- 2 tbsp each coarsely torn flat-leaf parsley and oregano
- 300 gm wedge of firm ricotta
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1For baked ricotta, preheat oven to 180C. Place ricotta on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with oil and lemon juice, scatter with rind and thyme and season generously to taste. Bake until golden brown and firm (30-40 minutes), then cool completely and coarsely crumble.
- 2Meanwhile, combine heirloom tomatoes, onion, garlic and sugar in a large bowl. Coarsely crush cherry tomatoes with your hands, add to heirloom tomato mixture, season to taste and stand until juicy (10-15 minutes).
- 3Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes), drain, rinse under cold running water and add to tomato mixture. Add olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice, season to taste, toss to combine, then add rocket and herbs. Scatter with baked ricotta and serve at room temperature.
This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of .
Drink Suggestion: Pale pink, dry rosato. Drink suggestion by Max Allen