A fairly ‘throw together’ salad if you have the ingredients on hand – otherwise try adding whatever vegetables or herbs you have. If you don’t have pasta, potatoes would make a great substitute
Creamy. Pasta. Salad. Need I say more? This is a fantastic way to use up those scraps of veggies that sit in the fridge forever – I used what I had on hand, but you could try some zucchinis, asparagus, or add rocket instead of spinach. If you don’t have pine nuts any seeds or nuts will suffice. The flavours in this dish are neutral enough to allow for some experimentation without the cost of ruining the flavour of the dish.
This is a perfect example of how easy zero-waste cooking can be – if you buy all of your produce and herbs loose you’re halfway there! I made a mayonnaise using the leftover chickpea liquid called ‘aquafaba’ as an emulsifier – which means I’m making use of products I would have otherwise tipped down the sink! If you can’t source pasta package-free, this will also make a great potato or rice salad (or noodles, or whatever takes your fancy – get creative!) – if you want to pack more protein into this dish throw in some cooked chickpeas, kidney beans or navy beans.
If you’d like to make this oil free, see the suggestions below.
Makes 8 hearty serves or a great side dish
½ Butternut pumpkin, diced into thumb sized chunks
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced into thumb sized chunks
1 eggplant, diced into chunks
2 spanish onions, diced into chunks
1 large red capsicum, diced into chunks
1/4 C olive oil – optional, you can use water to soften the veg
½ C Kalamata olives or sun dried tomatoes (optional), chopped
4 Cups baby spinach
600g penne or other pasta, cooked (this would also work well with roasted potatoes)
For the dressing:
1 C homemade aquafaba mayo (I use this recipe from Peanut Butter Vegan) – alternatively for an oil free version you could soak 1C cashews and adjust the seasonings and liquids below
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ C toasted pine nuts
½ Bunch each of garlic chives, dill, parsley, coriander
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 200’C. For the roasted veg, place the pumpkin and sweet potato onto a tray and drizzle with half the oil. Place the eggplant and other veg onto another tray and drizzle with the rest of the oil. Roast for 25-30 mins until softened – some veg may take longer, some may take less so just watch!
- Leave vegetables aside to cool – to make the dressing add all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth (you may need to add more water or oil to adjust the consistency – it should have the consistency of mayonnaise)
- To assemble: Place the cooked penne in a bowl, add in the roasted veg, spinach, olives. Add a splash of salt and pepper, throw on the dressing and mix through.
- Serve as a dish on its own with extra greens or as a side salad at a bbq or pot luck!