Monday, August 22, 2011

Our Favorite Summer Salad

Happy Monday to you all!

I'm here with a scrumptious summer salad for you that will use up those wonderful tomatoes and the basil you have growing in your gardens.  It doesn't require that many ingredients but the flavor is amazing.  I hope that you try it!
Here's what you will need:

Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

1 pound of pasta, preferably corkscrew, Gemelli, or Fusilli
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 cup basil, chopped or torn
1 1/4 cups mozzarella, cubed

First, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Before draining, reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water for future use.  Do not rinse your pasta!

Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook the onion in the olive oil until tender.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  You will want the tomatoes to cook until they are soft and make a sauce.  They should still be somewhat "chunky."  Add the noodles to the tomatoes and stir until they are moistened.  Here is where you will add anywhere from a 1/2 up to 1 cup of the reserved pasta water. 

Transfer your pasta to a serving bowl and add the mozzarella and basil, stirring until combined.

This salad is wonderful served with bruscetta, garlic bread, or a nice crusty loaf of Italian bread and makes a nice lunch or light dinner.


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