F+W’s Lemony Pasta Salad with Spiced Tomatoes

  • Lemony Pasta Salad with Spiced Tomatoes


  • 8 ounces (½ box) Flour + Water Foods Elbow Macaroni
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 1½ teaspoons Diaspora Co. Nandini Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Diaspora Co. Hariyali Fennel
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Diaspora Co. powdered Guntur Sannam Chillies
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon brine
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • ½ cup torn mint leaves


Step 1

Bring a large pot of abundantly salted water to a boil over high heat (you want the water to taste like the sea — this is your chance to season the pasta from the inside out!). Add the pasta, stir, and cook to al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and shake well to dry. Return to the pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and toss to coat. Set aside.

Step 2

While the pasta is cooking, make the spiced tomatoes. Combine the coriander, cumin, and fennel in a mortar or spice grinder, and pound or pulse the spices to a very coarse powder.

Step 3

Combine the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and the smashed garlic cloves to a small saucepan or tadka spoon and place over medium heat. Heat until the garlic is just starting to light golden around the edges, add the ground spices, swirling the pan gently, and cook until the spices are fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Turn off the heat, add the powdered Guntur Sannam chillies and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, and swirl to combine.

Step 4

Place the halved cherry tomatoes in a large, heat-proof bowl and pour the hot spiced oil mixture over the tomatoes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, preserved lemon, and preserved lemon brine, and stir to combine. 

Step 5

Add the reserved cooked pasta, cilantro, and mint leaves to the spiced tomato mixture, and gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt, if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature. (If you aren’t serving the salad immediately, don’t add the herbs until right before serving.)

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