Pasta Fredda, San Marzano, Cherries & Fresh Herbs
We’re welcoming back Martina from The Venetian Pantry, to share another seasonal recipe, perfect for a summer picnic or al fresco dinner. Martina shares content of both her beautiful Victorian home in London and her tasty Italian recipes on her Instagram, where we are always looking for inspiration. We are delighted that she is sharing her delicious tried-and-tested recipes with us throughout the year – keep your eye on our journal for the next recipe in the autumn.
Growing up, Pasta Fredda (literally: cold pasta) was always a big staple of my summers. Even the most torrid of heat waves cannot dissuade us Italians to give up our pasta, so we adapt and make a chilled version instead. In creating this dish, I decided to take a departure from the Pasta Fredda my mum has always made (which invariably featured canned tuna, mozzarella, and avocado – amongst other things), and to do a little experimentation of my own.
This version is a love letter to some of my favourite summer produce: tomatoes (specifically the San Marzano variety), capers and....cherries! I know what you are thinking - cherries with pasta?! - but hear me out. The sweetness of the cherries is balanced by the acidity of the tomatoes and the saltiness that capers and olives bring. But what makes this dish really sing are all those varieties of fresh herbs, which give such wonderful vibrancy and aroma.
A couple of final tips: although I personally love the texture of fresh egg fettuccine in this dish, dried egg noodles work equally well, and feel free to experiment with your favourite pasta shape too. If you cannot find San Marzano in your local grocery store, opt for a large tomato variety with a lot of flesh.
The Pasta will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but I would recommend always bringing it to room temperature before serving.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
200gr egg pasta (fettucine or noodles)
2 San Marzano tomatoes
150gr cherries, pitted
1 Tropea onion (small)
1 bunch mixed fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley, dill, tarragon)
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp green olives, pitted
1 lemon (zest + juice)
- Finely chop the onion and the olives and add them to a bowl together with the capers (rinsed), lemon zest, lemon juice and 3 tbsp of olive oil.
- Cut the San Marzano tomatoes into small cubes (the smaller the better!) and add them to the bowl together with the cherries, quartered.
- Finely chop the mixed herbs. Add everything to the bowl, stir all the ingredients together and season. Leave aside to marinate.
- Prepare an ice bath for the pasta by filling a large bowl with cold water and ice; set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions (don't forget to salt the water!). Once cooked, drain, and immediately transfer to the ice bath: this will prevent the pasta from overcooking. Leave for a few minutes until cool.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the mix. Garnish with a few sprinkles of fresh herbs before serving.
Martina likes to have her fingers in many pies: a graphic designer, photographer, interior designer and recipe creator from a small town in the Venetian countryside, she splits her time between her beloved home in North London and Italy. In January 2021 she opened her Instagram account @thevenetianpantry, where she shares her passion for all things home, food & travel.