Easy Pasta and Pear Salad

Living in a household where half of the one-and-a-half would have noodles with tomato sauce every day if he had his way means that I have to deal with a lot of leftover pasta. Thankfully, unlike rice and potatoes, you don’t need to re-heat or cook pasta to make it palatable.

I have always had good results using Nigella Lawson’s Mortadella Pasta Salad, but I didn’t have any Mortadella. Scrounging up stuff in the kitchen, I was able to whip up something just as good based on Nigella’s recipe, using leftovers and the Italian parsley growing on my balcony.

For a single serving, use 150 g cold, leftover fusilli pasta.

The dressing: 2 Tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for salads, 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt or Maddon salt (if using sea salt or table salt, add more. I agree now that sea salt just isn’t as salty),  1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (I confess, however, that I always have Gaumenfreude’s wild garlic infused mustard in stock. I swear by their stuff. Buy local!), a spritz of lemon.

To fill your pasta,  cut a slice of ham into squares, half a pear, diced into chunks, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese flakes (easily done with a potato peeler), 1/2 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley, either the curly or flat Italian variety, and pepper to taste.

Mix the ingredients of the dressing in a bowl, and scramble it with a fork. Add the noodles and all of the ingredients, then toss. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper according to your liking.

It is the perfect light lunch. The saltiness of the salad is balanced well by the sweetness of the pear, and rounded by the olive oil. Great for potluck parties. Guten Appetit!