This is one of my favorite pasta salads. The sun-dried tomatoes add a little bit of sweet flavor to the smokiness of the cheese and the tart vinaigrette dressing. It just contains all of my favorite things - olives, cheeses - smoked and parmesan, basil and capers. Enjoy!
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 T. drained capers
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lb. fusilli pasta
- 12 oz. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 8 oz. smoked mozzarella or smoked provolone cheese, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1-1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- Blend first 5 ingredients in processor until tomatoes are coarsely chopped. More oil can be added as needed for taste and consistency, but I like to start with less. Set dressing aside.
- Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water. Drain. Transfer to large bowl.
- Add dressing to hot pasta; toss to coat. Cool, stirring occasionally.
- Add chopped fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, Parmesan and olives; toss.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover; chill. Serve at room temperature.
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