Between Friday and Sunday, a few things happened. First, a weather front moved in that ensured that Sunday, instead of being sunny, breezy, and warm, was grey, raw, and chilly. Second, the number of people coming for lunch doubled. Third, I noticed that four bunches' worth of roasted asparagus doesn't look like it started out as four bunches of asparagus, especially when it's for twice as many people as you thought it would be serving. Fourth, it dawned on me that there wasn't a single thing on the original lunch menu that Miss B was likely to eat.
Happily, doing something about the fourth thing also had a knock-on positive effect on the first three. Yes, pasta even improves bad weather…or at least makes you care about it less.
Antipasto Pasta Salad
Pesto balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 cube/2 Tbsp pesto
2 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Put all ingredients in an empty jar and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.
1 lb/450 g short pasta (penne, farfalle, gemelli, etc.)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 batch slow-roasted tomatoes
6 slices prosciutto, chopped
1 oz/30 g pecorino romano, shaved
salt & pepper
Cook pasta al dente in boiling salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Dump into a large bowl (or container, if transporting). Drizzle with olive oil and toss; this will keep the pasta from sticking together.
Add tomatoes, prosciutto, and cheese to pasta; toss to mix thoroughly. Shake dressing briefly, then pour half over salad and continue to mix. Taste to see if you think it needs more and add accordingly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 10-12 as part of a lunch buffet, in any kind of weather.