What to do with left over salad? MAKE A SAUTEED SALAD PASTA!

I hate throwing food away – don’t you?  It’s criminal when there are so many others who are starving or survive on so much less.

I love morphing leftovers into a delicious meal.  Unless I own up to the fact, my friends and family seem none the wiser!

Just recently, I made some lunch for myself and Charlie  – a simple salad of lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and red onions that I had refrained from dressing until the last minute (otherwise the salad tends to “cook” in the dressing if left too long) to be had with some ham or some such other meat or cheese as I might have found in the fridge.  As it happens, Charlie decided he had to dash off somewhere and didn’t have time for lunch.  The salad was covered with clingfilm and put away in the fridge for later use.

We then went away for the weekend (I had forgotten all about the salad) and when we returned, I opened the fridge to discover the salad still sitting there – none the worse for its 3 day dormant habitat.  We needed a quick supper and so I decided to to cook the salad to dress up some penne!  Here is the recipe:

To serve 2:
Penne or other pasta – enough for 2.
Left over salad of:
Lettuce (in this case Romaine but any lettuce is fine)
Sliced tomatoes (at least two)
Sliced red onions (1)
Sliced Peppers (1)
Chopped Chilli (1/2 to 1)
Chopped (or crushed) garlic (1)
Fresh Thyme Leaves  (approx 3-4 sprigs) (I had some in the fridge but 1/2 teasp. dried will substitute)
Copious amount of extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper

1.  Get water on the boil for the pasta.
2.  Start by dropping a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy based pan or fry pan and under a medium heat start to fry off the chilli and garlic till soft.
3.  When the water in the pan is boiling drop in the pasta and cook for approximately 10 minutes.
4.  Once the chilli and garlic look soft, drop in the salad (minus the lettuce – you will need to pick this out beforehand).
5.  Continue to cook over a low to medium heat until the tomatoes start to break down and the peppers soften.  Add more olive oil if you think it needs it.
6.  After about 5-7 mins, add the lettuce and continue to cook until the lettuce is wilted (a minute or two).  At this point take off the heat and keep covered if the pasta isn’t quite ready.
7.  When the pasta is cooked to “al dente”, drain and tip into the pan with the cooked salad.  Toss around, adding a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.
8.  Serve immediately in warmed bowls, topped with some freshly grated parmesan.

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