What’s your favorite pasta shape? I must admit until recently I didn’t care much about the shape of pasta. Now, I know better – and I have a clear favorite: orecchiette 🙂
I first came across orecchiette in a recipe from singer/songwriter Martina McBride (you can check out my review of her cookbook here). I searched high and low for orecchiette, and I ended up finding them at Caputo Cheese and then Angelo Caputo’s.
For this recipe I used imported wholewheat orecchiette I found on sale at Angelo Caputo’s awhile ago. Pasta is a great pantry staple, and I was happy to stock up on orecchiette especially since my trips to the grocery stores have been few and far between, due to the pandemic.
For this recipe I decided to pair orecchiette with fresh veggies, such as super delicious red kale from Josie’s Organics.
I cut the kale finely into shreds and massaged with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil until tender. I then added it to a large bowl, on top of cooked orecchiette, cut green onion, and yellow cherry tomatoes.
I also added chopped mini red bell peppers and some super cute orecchiette mozzarella I got from Caputo Cheese. I just thought putting the same shape of pasta and cheese together would be fun to look at 🙂 You can, of course, use any kind of mozzarella shape you have available.
I poured a simple vinaigrette…
…and mixed until the ingredients were well combined.
I usually serve this salad slightly chilled. It makes for a great appetizer or a veggie-packed main meal, with fresh crusty bread on the side.
Simple, delicious and utterly satisfying, this salad is a tribute to fresh veggies, at their best in the middle of summer. The crunchiness of the peppers blends in beautifully with the tender finely shredded kale, while the yellow tomato pulp bursts in your mouth to offer plenty of veggie deliciousness. For a rather whimsical touch, I encourage you to try to locate orecchiette mozzarella – the visual impact is truly special, and makes the dining experience even more memorable.
Cook, eat, love orecchiette – their shape is truly something to behold. Would you agree? 🙂
Orecchiette and kale salad
- 3 cups cooked orecchiette pasta
- 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup finely shredded red kale
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup cut green onion
- 1/2 cup ciliegini, orecchiette, or any other small size fresh mozzarella
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for massaging the kale)
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Massage the kale with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil until tender. Add to a large bowl along with the pasta, green onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, and fresh mozzarella.
- In small cup make the vinaigrette by mixing extra virgin onlive oil, white wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add to bowl with ingredients, and mix until combined. Store in the refrigerator until serving time. Serve slightly chilled, as an appetizer or as a main meal, with fresh crusty bread on the side.