Herby tomato pasta salad with mustard vinaigrette


I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, after a night of broken sleep and stressed out nightmares. Kye wandered into my room at dawn after having a bad dream too, so it must have been something in the air? Who knows, maybe we just needed to pee or take off some layers of blankets though aye... 
After dropping the kids at school, I decided rather than coming home and working like a mad woman until 3pm, what I really needed to get me out of that funk was some sunshine and fresh air. So for the first time this year (bad I know!), I took to the pavement in a kinda 90% walk, 10% jog or lets be honest, a shuffle. I sprinted up my favourite take-all-your-problems-out-on-it hill, listened to my favourite music on my ipod and came home sweaty and refreshed. 
After showering I put on a skirt I've not worn in years, it's blue and patterned and full of joy. I checked the mailbox and to my surprise, it contained something more than just the usual bills and crap. In a package with no name of the sender (though I knew who it was from instantly), there lay a beautiful hand-written letter, some beeswax covers and a package of chai tea that made my eyes roll back in happiness as I inhaled it's heady scent. It's truly amazing how days can be turned around with a little good intent and love from those you hold dear. Wishing you all a beautiful weekend and week ahead. xx

Herby tomato pasta salad with mustard vinaigrette
Any small cooked leftover pasta will work here. I used Barilla gluten-free elbow macaroni that we had leftover from the night before, but penne would also work. If you don't have any leftover pasta, simply cook a little, drizzle with olive oil and set aside until room temperature before using. I love a serious hit of mustard in this kinda salad, but if it's not really your thing, just scale back the amount and add to taste.
Serves 2 or more as part of a larger meal

3 small bowlfuls cooked leftover small pasta such as macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard (make sure it's gluten-free if required)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil oil
fine sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
a good handful cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
a handful chives, finely chopped
a handful basil leaves, finely chopped
micro greens, to serve, optional

Combine dijion mustard and vinegar in a bowl big enough to fit all the ingredients in. Whisk to combine, before whisking in olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Add pasta, along with the tomatoes and herbs. Give it all a good mix, taste and adjust seasoning of you think it needs it. Serve with a few micro greens on top (if you have them handy that is!).

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  • Reply
    london bakes
    March 27, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean. I was having a terrible day earlier this week and one of my team stopped by my desk with a cupcake and it just lifted my mood totally. It makes me super aware of the impact that I can have on others too – just a little gesture may turn someone's day around completely.

    Have a lovely weekend Emma, I hope it's filled with a lot of delicious food (like this pasta salad!)

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    March 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    A little fresh air to clean the head works wonders. And followed by a gift box and beautiful simple salad. Sounds like a good day.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    This is exactly the kind of quick lunch I love best in summer! So delicious and fresh. And you have to love a zingy mustard dressing.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    This looks delicious! I'm a sucker for pasta dishes, so this looks so good right now. And chai is perfect on a bad day – as is a present from a loved one.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2015 at 4:16 am

    Perfect salad for the spring. Looks refreshing and very inviting.

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    March 29, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Mmm…a quick salad fix! This looks like a refreshing and happy salad 🙂

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • Reply
    March 29, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    I love those urgent shuffle-runs (that's my pace too) when you need to clear the air in your own head. Glad your day turned around and oh myyyy! Those tomatoes look so good right now (it's still sweater weather here bleeeeech). xoxo

  • Reply
    Leo Sigh
    March 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I'm not a huge fan of cold pasta salad, but with the mustard vinaigrette this actually sounds quite nice. Will have to give it a shot.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    This pasta salad looks delicious, Emma.

    Relaxing walks & cute skirts never fail to lift my mood. Hope you're having a lovely week. xoxo

  • Reply
    April 2, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Glad yur day turn out to be FAB!
    Thanks for sharing this lovely, simple recipe.
    All the best

  • Reply
    April 16, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    This is a great dish to make with leftovers. This will be a nice treat during the week!

  • Reply
    renee wells
    May 23, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Simple but for me the herbs, cherry tomatoes and apple cider makes this tops.

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