Fusilli freddi alle verdure

One could say I'm easily amused but there are many things that I see and learn everyday living under the Tuscan sun that make my heart sing. The grey doves that travel in pairs and chirp a beautiful song together. The wild poppies growing alongside an abandoned villa. The group of men who sit outside the cafe every evening looking out to the road together. The elderly lady who lives across the way who is outside feeding her chickens or hanging her sheets outside to dry. The brightly painted door in the alleyway. Of course I can't forget to mention the fields of bright, beautiful, golden sunflowers that begin to bloom at the end of July. It seems as though I'm living in a picture book at times.

Today I'm planning on visiting my two friends, California and Gianco (and by friends I mean horse friends) We have some plums left in the kitchen that are too soft for our liking, but I'm sure the horses and donkeys won't mind. I often visit them, as the villa is down the street from our house. The donkeys start to wale if I'm giving the horses too much attention. Don't worry, I save enough treats for the donkeys too. I love them all so much and it brings me so much joy when I see them.

I'm trying to empty our fridge out before we leave on our trip this Friday. For lunch I prepared a cold pasta dish using whole wheat fusilli with kale, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, grilled eggplant dressed in a olive oil and balsamic vinegar topped with grated ricotta salata. Perfect picnic lunch meal.

Fusilli freddi alle verdure 

(fusilli cold with vegetables)

serving; four

4 oz whole wheat fusilli 

half a bunch of kale 

6 sun dried tomatoes 

5 artichoke hearts (canned in olive oil)

1 medium eggplant 

ricotta salata 

olive oil 

balsamic vinegar 

salt and pepper

While you boil the water for your pasta, take the kale and cut out the stem and slice the leaves into two inch pieces. Dice up the sun dried tomatoes, the artichoke hearts and set aside. Heat a grill pan and cut the eggplant into thin slices. Grill the eggplant on both sides until they have beautiful black grill marks. After cooled, dice them in pieces as well. Once the water is boiled, add your salt followed by the fusilli and the kale pieces. Cooking times vary but my pasta box said 9 minutes until cooked. Strain the pasta with the kale and place in a bowl followed by all the ingredients. Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Once cooled, sprinkle with the ricotta salata. 

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