Pasta Salad with Crispy Pancetta, Black Olives, Artichokes, Wild Mushrooms and Blue Cheese Dressing


Serves 4

Preparation Time

Cook time

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  • 150g pancetta, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g wild mushrooms, roughly torn
  • 285g jar artichoke hearts
  • 100ml canola oil
  • ½ loaf ciabatta, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 100g black olives
  • 30g basil leaves, picked off stem
  • 250g penne pasta, cooked according to instructions on packet

Blue cheese dressing:

  • 50g blue cheese
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


In a large pan, fry the pancetta in olive oil for about 5 minutes until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Fry the mushrooms in the same pan for 5 minutes and then set aside, reserving the oil.

Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot, and then grill the artichoke hearts until charred.

Heat the canola oil and fry the ciabatta pieces until the croutons are golden and crispy. Drain on a paper towel and season well with salt and pepper.

Toss together the reserved pancetta oil, pancetta, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, croutons olives, basil leaves and pasta.

In a food processor or using a stick blender, blitz together all the dressing ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad, toss well and season to taste.