I am obsessed with pasta salads. I cannot get enough! I like to make a big one on Sunday night and then eat on it all week. They’re perfect lunches, side dishes or even light suppers too. During the summer, we grow all the basil in our yard. I mean…it takes over! So, between the basil and how yummy cherry tomatoes are right now, this recipe is a no-brainer! I’ve made this one on repeat all season long. Enjoy!
This recipe serves about four. You’ll notice that I say “about” a lot in this recipe. That’s the beauty of a pasta salad…you can add as little or as much as you like as you assemble.
½ pound of pasta (use whatever short cut pasta you like)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, split in half
about 3 handfuls of basil, torn or chopped into smaller pieces
1 (8 oz) ball of fresh mozzarella, diced into pieces (or if you’re like me…you use more because you love fresh mozzarella!)
about ¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
about ¼ cup of Balsamic vinegar
pinches of both salt and pepper
Before you start, please note that when the basil sits in the fridge, it loses it’s bright green color. It’s still delicious, but the basil won’t be as green. Also, I think the key is the EVOO and vinegar ratio. It’s like dipping your bread in oil and vinegar at a restaurant…they compliment each other so well! That being said, drizzle and taste as you go. Add as much or as little as your family will love.
Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Drop your pasta in and cook to al dente (about 5 minutes, do not over cook!). As soon as it’s ready, drain the water from the pot and then immediately run cold water over the pasta to get it nice and chilled (and stop the cooking process). Drain all of the water and then place your pasta in a mixing bowl. Next, add in your tomatoes, basil and diced mozzarella cheese. Drizzle on your EVOO and Balsamic vinegar. Add in a big pinch of both salt and pepper and then toss everything together.
Cover and refrigerate at least four hours before serving and enjoying.