Sunday, May 29, 2011

Caprese Pasta Salad

 Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! This weekend is the unofficial start of summer... the weekend to reflect upon our military & a time to gather with friends & family. I always bake dessert (Fresh Peach Cake this time) but I also like to make a non-fussy, easy side. Don't be worried though- it is delicious! And it is very outdoor, BBQ friendly, since it contains no mayo.

I love the freshness of the Caprese Salad. Add pasta & it just may be the perfect meal. Caprese's  traditional components are: tomatoes, basil & mozzarella, the colors of the Italian flag. This may seem funny- preparing an Italian dish for Memorial Day, but, why not? While my little family was at Liberty State Park yesterday, we gazed out at Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty... Ellis Island where my hubby's Italian family & part of my family came through... And isn't that what the U. S. A. is about?

Have a great weekend all, with your loved ones. God Bless our men & the women in the Military!

Caprese Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb. Pasta, I use bowtie
  • 3-4 TBSp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 1 pint grape Tomatoes
  • 8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella
  • 2-3 TBSp fresh Basil

Cook the pasta to box directions. Drain, add in the olive oil, garlic powder, & salt. Set aside- allow the pasta to cool to room temperature.

Slice the grape tomatoes in half & add the halves to the pasta. Cut the mozzarella into bite-sized pieces & add it to the pasta.  Lastly, chiffonade the basil, &, add it into the pasta. Toss everything together so that it is very coated with the oil.

Serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!

I love fresh mozzarella in almost everything, including lasagna but especially in cold salads. And you can use minced garlic but I think the powdered form is better since this is a lighter, cooler pasta.

* Lishie Tip- Chiffonade the basil at the very last moment, that will maintain it's "green-ness" & freshness. Mine was picked moments before in my Father-in-Law's garden. The aroma was intoxicating!

I often add ingredients to this recipe as well... sliced, roasted red peppers, quartered artichoke hearts, Sauteed Mushrooms to name a few... YUM!

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