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Five-A-Day Pasta Salad

by Bernard Brogan

This pasta salad is a great way of getting some all-important vegetables into your kids. The trick is to chop the veg so small that your kids will just scoop them up along with the pasta shells. And be sure to point out all the colours – it’s just as important to ‘eat the rainbow’ as it is to get your five a day. Use this recipe as a base to mix and match whatever vegetables your kids will eat. Olives, cherry or sun-dried tomatoes, spring onions, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and crumbled feta cheese would all be good additions for more adventurous eaters. If you have some leftover roast chicken or ham, throw that in too for a protein boost.

Preparation time
10 minutes
 
Cooking time
10 minutes
 

Ingredients

  • 500g small pasta shells
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 100ml light olive oil
  • 100g frozen petit pois
  • 100g frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 orange pepper, very finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, very finely diced
  • ½ cucumber, halved lengthways
  • 1 bunch of basil, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Directions

1. First cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, until al dente.

2. Put the lemon juice and olive oil into a large mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined. As soon as the pasta is cooked, drain it and add to the bowl. Toss with the dressing while the pasta is still warm to help it absorb the flavours. If you want it to be sharper, add a little more lemon juice or a splash of white wine vinegar. Set aside to cool while you prep your vegetables.

3. Bring a small pot of water to the boil and cook the frozen peas and sweetcorn for 3 minutes, then drain and run them under the cold tap so the peas keep their bright green colour.

4. Add the peas, sweetcorn and peppers to the cooled pasta. Use a small spoon to scrape the watery seeds out of the cucumber, then cut into the same tiny pieces as the peppers and add them to the bowl. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper, then give it all a good stir until everything is evenly combined.

5. Pack the pasta salad into airtight containers along with a yogurt pot for the dairy element of the lunch and a bottle of cold water or unsweetened fruit juice. If you want to get the entire rainbow into one lunch, pack a small airtight container of fresh blueberries as well. And don’t forget the fork!

 
Roma Pasta Range Conchiglie Shells
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