Pasta Salad with Herbed Marinated Mozzarella and Cherry Tomatoes

Kitchen cue: Adding hot pasta, rather than cooled, softens the cheese and helps the pasta readily absorb the vinaigrette in this Pasta Salad with Herbed Mairnated Mozzarella and Cherry Tomatoes. Choose a shape, such as fusilli, farfalle (bow ties), or campanele, that will easily grip the marinated cheese and tomatoes. We used bocconcini (bite-size balls of mozzarella), but cubed regular mozzarella works just as well.

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Makes: 6  servings Prep 30 mins Start to Finish 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup  pine nuts (about 2 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons  bottled capers, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup  chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup  chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cup (9 ounces) bocconcini mozzarella, halved, at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 pound  pasta

Directions

1. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a small skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to paper towels to drain, and season to taste with salt.

2. Whisk together vinegar, capers, and garlic and add remaining 6 tablespoons oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Stir in herbs, mozzarella, and tomatoes and let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water and drain remaining pasta in a colander.

4. Immediately transfer hot pasta and reserved cooking water to bowl with marinated mozzarella and tomatoes, and let stand 1 minute.

5. Gently toss pasta and cheese mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkled with pine nuts.

Tip

Make it Kid Friendly:
  • Use your child's favorite pasta shape, such as wagon wheels or rotini.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 6
  • cal.(kcal)540,
  • sat. fat(g)10,
  • carb.(g)48,
  • fiber(g)3,
  • sodium(mg)504,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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