The Perfect Summer Lunch: Sicilian style pasta and rocket salad with caramelised oranges, figs and manchego

It was not my intention to post this. I took the pictures to capture the moment of a beautiful summer’s day, sitting under the dappled shade of my fig tree in my own private bubble with my partner. The food was amazingly delicious and so easy to make that it would be a crime not to share it. The pasta was unexpected; the orange and cinnamon are not something I would usually use in a pasta dish, until now. The recipe is from goodhousekeeping:

The salad recipe is from Melissa Hemsley. The orange was a nice tie in to the pasta, though the figs did not come from the tree we were sitting under!

Sicilian Style Pasta


300g wholewheat spaghetti

400g cherry tomatoes (plus extra to garnish)

finely grated zest and juiceof 1 orange

50ml  olive oil

50g sultanas

5cm piece cinnamon stick

2 oregano sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to garnish

160 g tin tuna in spring water, drained

large handful rocket    


  1. Put pasta into a large, deep frying pan so it lies flat, breaking it up, if necessary. Add tomatoes, orange zest and juice, oil, sultanas, cinnamon, oregano and some seasoning.
  2. Pour in 750ml (1¼ pint) freshly boiled water from the kettle. Bring up to the boil over high heat, then bubble for about 15min, mixing occasionally, or until the pasta is just tender and there is a nice volume of sauce left.
  3. Mix through tuna and check seasoning. Discard cinnamon. Divide among four bowls and sprinkle with some oregano leaves, rocket and tomatoes.    

Rocket salad with caramelised oranges, figs and manchego


3 oranges

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for the tray

50g blanched almonds (or with skins on)

3 ripe figs

50g Manchego or vegetarian alternative, rind removed

1 tbsp clear honey

1 x 120g bag wild rocket

2 medium courgettes, shaved into ribbons, or 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the grill to high. Peel two of the oranges, slice into 5mm rounds and place on an oiled baking tray. Grill the oranges for 5-7 minutes until they start to brown and are a little soft, but not falling apart. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until golden, then roughly chop them.
  2. Halve the figs or quarter if large. Use a vegetable peeler to make shavings of Manchego.
  3. Squeeze the juice from the remaining orange and whisk with the honey, oil and some seasoning. Spread the rocket over a large serving platter. Top with the figs, caramelised oranges and the courgette ribbons or fennel. Scatter with Manchego shavings, drizzle with the dressing and season with salt and pepper. To serve, scatter with thetoasted chopped almonds.

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