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Quick & Easy Lunch Recipes: 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad

Are you looking for a delicious and effortless dish to make for lunch? Look no further! This 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad recipe featuring Barilla pasta is the answer to a quick and fulfilling lunch. Whether you are hosting a last minute gathering or craving a refreshing lunch during a busy day. this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings.

What is Barilla?

Before we delve into the recipe, let’s talk about Barilla. Barilla is one of the world’s leading pasta brands, renowned for its high-quality ingredients and dedication to crafting pasta that cooks perfectly every time. With over a century of expertise in pasta-making, Barilla ensures that each strand of pasta is made with the finest durum wheat semolina, resulting in a deliciously al dente texture that pairs perfectly with a variety of sauces and ingredients. For this recipe, we’ll be using Barilla pasta to create a delightful pasta salad that is both easy to make and bursting with flavour.

Is Pasta Salad Healthy?

The simple answer is that it can be! By choosing wholesome ingredients and keeping portion sizes in check, pasta salad can be a nutritious addition to your meal plan. In this recipe, we will be incorporating fresh vegetables to create a balanced and satisfying dish. Plus, with the addition of Barilla pasta, which is made from high-quality durum wheat semolina, you will be getting a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates to keep you energised throughout the day. So, let go of any guilt and indulge in this delicious 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad.

Bowl of Pasta Calories?

The number of calories in a bowl of pasta can vary depending on several factors, including the type of pasta, the serving size, and any additional ingredients or sauces. On average, a one-cup serving of cooked pasta contains around 200 calories. However, this can fluctuate based on factors such as the type of pasta. Are you using whole wheat or white? The serving size, for example, larger portions will have more calories. Plus, have you added ingredients like cheese, sauces or oils?

It is essential to be mindful of portion sizes and the types of ingredients used when considering the calorie content of a bowl of pasta. Opting for whole wheat pasta, which is higher in fibre and nutrients, can provide a more filling meal with fewer calories compared to traditional white pasta. Additionally, choosing lighter sauces or incorporating plenty of vegetables can help keep the calorie count in check while still enjoying a delicious bowl of pasta.

4 Ingredient Pasta Salad
Pasta Salad

4 Ingredient Pasta Salad Method

Cook the Barilla pasta:

Fill a large pot with water, adding a generous amount of salt to enhance the pasta’s flavour. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Carefully add the Barilla pasta to the boiling water, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Ensure that the pasta is fully submerged in the water.

Refer to the package instructions for the recommended cooking time. Barilla pasta typically cooks in around 9-11 minutes, depending on the shape and thickness. Test the pasta for doneness a couple of minutes before the recommended cooking time. Al dente pasta should be firm to the bite but not overly soft. Once the pasta is cooked to perfection, carefully drain it using a colander placed in the sink.

Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl:

After draining the pasta, immediately transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Rinsing the pasta under cold water helps to stop the cooking process and prevent it from becoming mushy. Ensure that the bowl is large enough to accommodate the pasta and additional ingredients comfortably. A spacious bowl allows for easy tossing and mixing. 

Add the cherry tomatoes and cucumber:

Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes, removing any stems or blemishes. Add them to the bowl with the cooked pasta. Wash and dice the cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Add the diced cucumber to the bowl as well. The vibrant colours and refreshing crunch of the cherry tomatoes and cucumber add freshness and texture to the pasta salad.

Add the feta cheese and olive oil:

Crumble the feta cheese directly over the pasta and vegetables in the bowl. Feta cheese adds a creamy and tangy element to the pasta salad, balancing the flavours and adding richness. 

Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil evenly over the pasta, vegetables and feta cheese. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting the seasoning according to your preferences.

The olive oil not only adds flavour but also helps to coat the ingredients, providing a luscious texture to the salad.

Gently toss all the ingredients together:

Using salad tongs or a large spoon, gently toss the ingredients in the bowl until they are evenly distributed and coated in the olive oil. Take care not to be too vigorous with the tossing to avoid crushing the delicate ingredients. 

Garnish the pasta salad:

As an optional extra, wash and dry fresh basil leaves, tearing them into smaller pieces or leaving them whole for a decorative touch. Scatter the basil leaves over the pasta salad just before serving to add a burst of fresh aroma and flavour. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. This adaptable pasta salad can be enjoyed on its own as a light and satisfying meal or served as a refreshing side dish alongside grilled chicken, fish, or tofu.

4 Ingredient Pasta Salad Ingredients

250g of Barilla pasta

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cucumber, diced

100g feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Quick and Easy Lunch Ideas

This 4 Ingredient Pasta Salad recipe featuring Barilla pasta is delicious and simple. With just a handful of ingredients and minimal effort, you can create a dish that is easy, quick and simple. So, the next time you are in need of a quick and tasty meal, give this recipe a try.

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