It’s been unseasonably warm here in Vancouver these past few weeks. I like it, but I have some concerns about what this weather means for us down the road. Anyways, a rant about global warming isn’t appropriate here, but what I thought would be good to share is a little pasta salad I threw together the other night when it was too hot to cook. Usually this happens in July so I was totally throw off my game in terms of ingredients for a no cook meal.
I’ve seen this mushroom pasta salad on the menu at Tractor, but haven’t ever gotten around to trying it, so I figured I’d just make my own version. My IGA is pretty limited in terms of fun pasta shapes so I settled on the most exotic thing I could find which turned out to be orecchiette, you know the ones that look like little hats? But penne rigate or any small tubular pasta would work well with this. Cause let’s face it, it kinda all tastes the same (I know, I just made a thousand Italian Nonnas cry).
I went for a mix of shiitake and cremini mushrooms, but if you can get your hands on chanterelles or something more exotic go for it! Saute the mushrooms in some butter and olive oil (I like to mix the two for flavour), and then after they release their liquid and start to brown I added a splash of white wine and seasoned with salt and pepper. Set the shrooms aside.
Use the best quality, full fat ricotta you can get for this. Add a couple tbsp of chopped herbs, whatever is in season is fine. I used mint, rosemary, oregano and basil (all from my new container garden thank you very much!) and to that I added some lemon zest.
Cook the pasta according to the directions and rinse it under cold water when it’s done to stop the cooking and cool it right down. Add the mushrooms, ricotta and a splash of good quality olive oil and then drizzle as much, or as little truffle oil over the top as you like. Toss and serve at room temperature.
Although delicious the next day, this pasta salad looks its best when it’s fresh. The mushrooms tend to make the ricotta turn a brownish colour that isn’t super pleasing to the eyes after a night in the fridge.
I served this up with a kale caesar to make it a meal and was pleased with the result. I’m sure you will be too!
- 1/2 lb. cooked pasta (small shapes or tubes)
- 4 cups diced mushrooms, sauteed
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tsp lemon juice + zest
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp white truffle oil
If you want a bit of a kick I feel like you could get away with adding some chili flakes to this, but if it’s terrible I take no responsibility.