Juicy watermelon makes the perfect partner to tangy goat's cheese in this easy-to-assemble pasta salad. Flavour and texture are provided by crunchy witlof, peppery rocket and toasted pine nuts, which combine to give a Mediterranean flair.
200 g penne preferably wholemeal
125 g firm goat's cheese
½ small watermelon, peeled, cubed and deseeded
100 g rocket
¼ cup (50 g) pine nuts, toasted
2 small heads witlof
4 slices prosciutto, trimmed of all excess fat and cut into strips
2 ½ tablespoons mild olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
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Cook the pasta in boiling water for 11–13 minutes or according to the packet instructions. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then drain thoroughly and set aside to cool.
Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a screw-top jar and shake together well. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Both the cheese and prosciutto are quite salty, so no extra salt should be needed.
Crumble the cheese into the cooled pasta and add the watermelon. Pour the dressing over and lightly toss together, then add the rocket and pine nuts.
Separate the witlof into individual leaves and arrange on a serving platter or shallow salad bowl. Arrange the salad on top and scatter with the prosciutto.
Fetta cheese may be used instead of goat's cheese. Buy it in a block rather than ready-cubed and reduce the salt content slightly by soaking in a bowl of cold water for 2–3 minutes, then draining. Crumble or cut into small cubes. * Instead of the watermelon, try cubed honeydew or rockmelon or diced ripe mango. Add the squeezed juice of 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger to the dressing.