Mala Femmina

Autumn is hanging on by its fingernails here in California. We’re still having gloriously sunny days (with the odd showery one), and cool nights. It’s a very short season, being only about 4 – 6 weeks long, so I don’t think it will be more than another couple of weeks before I’ll be wanting to light the fire in the family room. However, as yet, it’s not too late to be eating salads. There’s nothing quite like a looming deadline for motivation!

This is a salad version of Pasta Puttanesca.


Gluten free vegan pasta salad.

4 salad tomatoes
6 – 8 oz dry GF penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 medium sized cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
3/4 cup (~30) black olives, halved
~14 large basil leaves, torn to small shreds

Cook the pasta in plenty of  salted water according to packet instructions, until just cooked, but not fragile.

While the pasta is boiling, use a sharp knife to make a small gash in the skin of each of the tomatoes; use a slotted spoon to add the tomatoes to the boiling pasta water for about 60 seconds each, so that their skins start to peel back from the gash.

Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water with the slotted spoon, and peel off (and discard) the skins (which should pretty much slip off on their own).

Dice the tomato flesh.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it, and toss gently in a large bowl with the olive oil.

Add the remaining ingredients; stir to combine.

Check for salt, adjust if necessary. If your stomach can stand it, you can drizzle this with a little more olive oil.

Refrigerate until required (this can help the flavors develop), but no more than about an hour, as you don’t want the basil to go brown.


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