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Lumache with cucumber salsa

Here little snail–shaped pasta, called lumache, trap a herby yogurt and tomato dressing so that each one is full of flavour. A refreshing vegetable and fruit salsa brings extra nutritional value as well as exciting taste and texture contrast. Offer warm bread to mop up all the juices.

Lumache with cucumber salsa

Ingredients

  • 250 g lumache (pasta snails) or other hollow shapes
  • ⅓ cup (20 g) chopped fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup (20 g) chopped fresh mint
  • ⅓ cup (20 g) snipped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 200 g low–fat natural yogurt
  • 1 avocado
  • salt and pepper
  • sprigs of fresh mint to garnish
  • Cucumber salsa
  • 4 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 green capsicum, seeded and finely diced or chopped
  • ½ telegraph cucumber, diced or chopped
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced or chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lime (optional)
  • 50 g watercress, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 100 g dried mango slices, diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 crisp apple

Preparation

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the parsley, mint, chives and tarragon with the tomatoes in a large bowl (the bowl should be large enough to take the cooked pasta too).
  3. Add a little seasoning and then gently stir in the yogurt.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta thoroughly, shaking the shapes in a colander to make sure that there is no cooking water trapped in them.
  5. Add the hot pasta to the yogurt dressing and use a large spoon to turn them until they are thoroughly coated.
  6. Cover and set aside to cool until just warm.
  7. The pasta salad tastes good warm or it can be served cold, in which case leave to cool completely, then chill for 1 hour.
  8. The pasta can be dressed several hours in advance if this is more convenient.
  9. Meanwhile, mix together the celery, capsicum, cucumber and spring onions.
  10. Stir in the lime zest, if using, the watercress and diced dried mango.
  11. Cover and set aside.
  12. Shortly before serving, stir the oil into the cucumber mixture with seasoning to taste.
  13. Quarter, core and finely dice the apple, leaving its peel on.
  14. Add to the cucumber salsa and stir well so the apple is mixed in.
  15. Halve the avocado and remove the stone, then cut it lengthwise into quarters and peel off the skin.
  16. Dice the flesh and mix it into the pasta.
  17. Serve the cucumber salsa as an accompaniment to the pasta so that it can be added to taste.
  18. (The hot pasta absorbs its yogurt dressing, becoming quite dry as it cools, so the cucumber salsa acts as a second dressing.
  19. ) Garnish with sprigs of mint and serve immediately.

Serves 4
Preparation: 30-40 minutes, plus cooling and 1 hour optional chilling
Cooking: about 10 minutes

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