Pasta Salad Primavera

Publish Date
Wednesday, 9 November 2016, 2:26PM

This recipe does involve a lot of fiddly preparation, but what it creates is addictive; every mouthful repays the effort a hundredfold. What's more, you can stash it in a Tupperware or similar and leave it in the fridge for easy pickings for a good few days. This salad is eating proof that you can't have too much of a good thing.


  • 500 grams orzo pasta (or puntarelle pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 grams fresh green asparagus
  • 150 grams broad beans (podded)
  • 250 grams green peas (podded)
  • 125 grams mangetout (snow peas)
  • 125 grams fine green beans
  • 1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 tablespoons chopped chives


  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, and after draining the cooked orzo (or puntarelle as this barley- or rice-like shape is called in the De Cecco range), rinse under cold water and leave to drain again.
  2. Tip the drained pasta into a large mixing bowl and stir through the olive oil to prevent it from clumping together.
  3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, and add some salt. Meanwhile snap the woody ends off the asparagus and then cut each stalk into 2.5cm / 1 inch long pieces on a diagonal, or, if you are using sprue, leave it whole or cut in half. Shell the broad beans and pod the peas. Get the mangetout out and trim the fine beans, cutting them in half.
  4. Cook each vegetable in the boiling water until almost cooked through but still with bite. You have to taste as you go to get the timing right. I find it easier to cook each one in turn, placing in a sieve, and refreshing under a cold tap. Then it's easy to squeeze the cooked broad beans to remove the casing, leaving you just the vibrant inner pods. All this might seem a lot of fiddly work, but, actually, I get into the slow rhythmed pace of it, and find it strangely relaxing after a while.
  5. Tip the cooked, refreshed and drained vegetables into the pasta and dress with the garlic oil, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest, and 4 tablespoons of chopped chives. Mix together - the salad in the picture has yet to be combined - and check the seasoning, then decant into a bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of chopped chives to serve.


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