Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

This is another recipe I made for the housewarming party we had last month, but unfortunately I didn't get to try any of it at our party! I made it again to accompany the lemon-basil grilled chicken and it has now become my fall-back dinner side dish. I have never been a huge pasta salad fan, but this one really changed my mind; anything with cheese and garlic-infused oil gets my vote! I will definitely keep this pasta salad in our rotation.

Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

1lb. uncooked pasta (I used penne rigate)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3-4 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted and chopped (I omitted this)
Handful of fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to package direction until just past al dente. Drain well. Transfer to a serving bowl. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Saute' the garlic until sizzling and golden, stirring frequently (a few minutes). Be careful not to burn the garlic. Pour the garlic and oil over the warm pasta and toss well. Add the mozzarella cheese, half of the Parmesan and salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well and let the noodles cool slightly. Just before serving, top the noodles with the chopped tomatoes, basil, toasted pine nuts (if using) and remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve room temperature.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats


Annie said...

Yay! So glad you enjoyed it. The garlic-infused oil is great!

Amy said...

Mmm, yummy! Looks great - so light and fresh!!


michelle said...

I love anything with garlic, this will definately be going on our menu!