Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad

Last week’s pasta salad seemed to be a hit, so I decided to continue the pasta idea with a fresh tomato and basil pasta salad recipe I found. I made it this past weekend with some fresh basil (remember my windowsill herb garden from this past spring?) and it was absolutely delicious. I really enjoyed eating it hot on Saturday and again cold on Sunday with lunch. I made it with macaroni, but the recipe calls for penne pasta.

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound penne pasta
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, halved, seeded, and chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup basil leaves, slivered
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt and the penne pasta; cook pasta until just tender to the bite. While pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, and basil in a large bowl. Add olive oil and remaining salt to tomato mixture. Drain pasta, add to tomato mixture, and toss. Add salt to taste. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold (as a pasta salad).

Yield: 6 servings

Recipe from: MyRecipes
Note: This is delicious served up as a main dish. To decrease the calories and fat a little, use only one cup of shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese. The olive oil provides lots of heart healthy fats!