Simple Pasta Salad {Stuck-in-the-Wilderness Food}

I couldn't ever just eat one thing for the rest of my life. So, sorry in advance if you ever get stuck on a remote island with me, and there's just ... an apple tree or something. I'm going to get totally grumpy.


If I was to nominate my favourite stuck-in-the-wilderness food, it would be this pasta salad. Not that I've ever eaten it in the wilderness, but I could. For days and days and days. 

I don't know what it is about this recipe that makes it taste so amazing ... because it's really, really simple. My guess? It's probably in the dressing ... and this one {a Jamie Oliver derivative} packs a bit more olive oil and a bit more white wine vinegar than your average urban chickie {me} might feel comfortable with. But that's the thing. The pasta soaks it up, so it ends up perfect.

{Thank you Jamie}

Like any good wilderness food, this salad is very adaptable. Sometimes I make it with mozzarella, sometimes without. I pull handfuls of herbs from the garden, or shake on dried. I use penne or fusilli, or bowties or macaroni or whatever random pasta shape I grabbed last time I was at the shop. I often substitute zucchini for cucumber, and vice versa. Green olives? Black olives? Whichever. 

I recommend you make a big batch, and whatever doesn't get devoured for dinner you can pack for  lunches. Or just your lunch. {You never have to tell ... }
Amanda xx

Simple Pasta Salad
adapted from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef
serves 4

The time
20 min prep

The ingredients
500g shaped pasta {I usually use bowties or penne or macaroni}
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped*
1/2 raw zucchini or cucumber, chopped*
1 handful pitted olives, halved {Kalamata or Sicilian green are my faves}
1 cup cubed mozzarella {optional}
1 handful garden-fresh herbs {any or all of: chives, basil, basil flowers, oregano, thyme}
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 clove minced garlic
generous sea salt

*according to the original recipe, you should chop up your tomatoes and zucchini so they're 1/2 the size of the pasta, whatever size your pasta is. I like that.

**try to use organic when you can!

The process
1. Boil the pasta according to directions on the package. Drain, then rinse with cold water until the pasta is cool to touch. Drain again and set aside.

2. While the pasta's boiling, combine the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cooled pasta and add sea salt to taste. Sprinkle with extra herbs if you'd like. Done!

3. This salad keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.

The cost
A takeaway container of pasta salad for 1-2 will run you $8 at the local cafe ... and it doesn't even promise to be *this* good! A batch of organic simple pasta salad {serving 4} and made at home will cost you less than that ... running ~$2 per serve. {Even less without the mozzarella.}

Very happy days.

NOTE SOME DAYS LATER: I have just remembered that I could probably eat frozen cherries every day. All day. So hopefully we can find a desert island with a freezer. 


  1. Sounds so good, I'll be making it tomorrow. I don't have the luxury of being stuck in the wilderness anymore. But being home with a new bub feels like that sometimes when it comes to food, so this will be perfect to have in the fridge :)

  2. @Sunny Sanderson Sunny! You are SO right! I remember that feeling of desperation, rifling through my handbag for that random sustaining muesli bar, as the wolves - er, Nelle - screamed her head off ...

  3. Looks fabulous, just pinned it so I can come back to it when we hit the season for tomatoes, basil and cukes here. Can't wait, the perfect workday lunch I think.

  4. @Barbara Good I know! I can't wait to get some tomatoes off my vines ... It's killing me looking at all these beautiful tomatoes on North American blogs :)

    Your darling has such a gorgeous smile, by the way! (Just checked out *your* blog :) )



Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx