As the weather heats up, I am always looking for quick and fresh meals that do not heat up the kitchen. If you like to eat caprese salad, then you will really enjoy this pasta salad. The flavors are clean and fresh and the meal is quite healthy. I took this pasta salad to a cook out at a friends house for Memorial day and it was a hit! Hope that you will try it as a stand alone meal or side dish!
Tomato, Basil, and Fresh Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Adapted from The Washington Post
16 ounces of penne (fusilli, bowties, whatever shape you like)
10- 12 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
1 container of cherry tomatoes, quartered
15 to 20 medium to large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
4 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
2 handfuls of toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar- more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta until done. In a dry saute pan, toast two handfuls of pine nuts for approximately 2 minutes. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water until cool. When it is completely dry, transfer to a large bowl. Add the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, scallions, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and add additional balsamic to taste. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.