I love summer, and it's not just for the pool and no school and the beach and contagious happiness and all that jazz. I love being able to walk to my not-so-little tomato plant, pluck off a big ole' tomato, and then eat it within the hour.
I had long considered how I would eat my first tomato from the vine, and I decided on this old favorite. I wanted something simple that wouldn't distract from the tomato's own flavor, and this combination of tomato, basil, and mozzarella never gets old (I will warn you, I'm not done with it this summer, either, so get excited for a few variations). It was even a better plus that I could grab some fresh basil from the garden. too.
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 1 pound dry pasta (I used mini Farfalle)
- 1 pound ripe tomato (I used an heirloom tomato, because that's what I was growing)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 handfull fresh basil leaves
- about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, to garnish
Boil the noodles in salted water until al dente (don't let it get soggy). Rinse in cool water, drain, and set aside to cool.
Chop the tomatoes and mozzarella in an approximately 1/3 inch dice. Roll the basil leaves tightly like a cigarette and slice thinly, making long strips. Combine the tomato, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl with the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and coat. Let sit for a few minutes, while the pasta continues to cool.
When the pasta reaches room temperature, shake to ensure it's dry, and then combine it with the tomato mixtures. Stir to coat. Add more olive oil if necessary to coat everything. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Top with the Parmesan cheese, and serve at room temperature.