Citrus whole wheat penne salad with tomatoes and sweet basil

Recipe for another light and healthy meal today. Although I am dying to recreate my slow roasted pork belly I made 2 days in a row over X-mas and Boxing day, I really feel like I should stay away from a naughty food group for a while (probably just until New Year ;-)). Besides, it is nice to be reminded that simple food made with the freshest ingredients will never disappoint even during the holiday season. This dish is so quick and easy. And you can always add what you like and be flexible with it. As long as you stick with good quality ingredients, the result will always be stunning and refreshing. My personal recommendation for extra flavor would be to use truffle salt for seasoning. If you don’t have it yet, I strongly encourage you to hunt it and get it. It is worth it! If you want to make the dish a little more substantial, add some fresh buffalo mozzarella. It can never go wrong.

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  • Prep & Cooking time: 30-40mins
  • Serves: 2

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Ingredients

  • 500g. cherry tomatoes
  • 200g. dried whole-wheat penne
  • generous handful of sweet basil leaves.
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • juice and zest of ½ fresh orange
  • juice and zest of ½ fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp. white truffle or regular sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

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Cook penne in boiling salted water for 9-10 minutes. Meanwhile, halve cherry tomatoes and mix them with sweet basil leaves in a bowl. Leave a few basil leaves for final garnish. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, juice and zest of orange and lemon. Season with truffle salt and set aside.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Cool it in the fridge with a couple of ice cubes for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the ice cubes and mix the pasta in with tomatoes and basil. Add 1 more tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and season with ground black pepper. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.

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