Summer Tomato Pasta Salad

    2:39 PM, Jul 23, 2007   |    comments
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    Featured as one of our “Pile of crop pastas”, this recipe is as flexible as you want it to be. Use any style of pasta, any number of different tomato varieties, and the more the better! Ingredients: for 4 large or 6 small portions Penne Pasta 1 lb Assorted Ripe tomatoes 4-6 large or equal to 3 lbs. Red Onion ½ cup diced fine Fresh Basil ¼ cup minced Balsamic Vinaigrette 1 cup Fresh Mozzarella 1 lb Fresh Grated Parmesan ¼ cup Salt 2 tsp Black Pepper 1 tsp Preparation: In a large stock pot bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook till al dente, or approximately 5-7 minutes. The pasta will be served chilled so be sure to test the doneness before removing from the pot. Strain the pasta and run cold water over it to chill quickly. Transfer to a clean container and lightly toss with a little Olive oil to lightly coat the pasta. Prepare the recipe for the dressing. Dice the tomatoes at a ¼ inch size and add to a bowl. Add the diced onions and Basil and toss well. Add half a cup of the vinaigrette along with the extra salt and pepper. Toss the mix well and let sit at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes. This mix can be done the day before and kept refrigerated, but be sure to remove at least 30 minutes before serving. The flavors are more bold and luscious when not chilled. Slice the fresh mozzarella into ¼ inch thick discs, and set aside, grate the Parmesan and set aside. To assemble the dish: In a soup or pasta bowl, place approximately 1 cup of the pasta. Mix the tomato mixture well to insure that all the ingredients are well coated with the vinaigrette. Spoon ¼ cup of the tomato mix over the pasta. Place 3 slices of the Mozzarella across the top of the pasta and tomatoes. Drizzle 2 TBSP of the vinaigrette evenly around the entire ingredients. Sprinkle some of the grated Parmesan over the top. Garnish with a leaf of the basil. Balsamic Dressing: Olive Oil 1.5 cups Balsamic Vinegar 1/3 cup Dijon Mustard 2 TBSP Fresh Basil (finely minced) 1 TBSP Salt ½ tsp Pepper ½ tsp Combine the oil, balsamic, Dijon, basil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Using a Wisk, vigorously Wisk till the dressing is completely blended and deep mahogany in color. Set aside in clean container or refrigerate till needed. This dressing is my favorite and most simple recipe, even my children whip it up and they never measure anything.

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