Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caprese Pasta Salad

I wanted to make a simple pasta salad for my mom's Fourth of July party, and this was what came to mind. G2 is a little funny about most pasta salads, but he likes all the components here. It's always good to have a substantial veggie option for us that can also appeal to the omnivores at the party. I guess I could have used any pasta, but I thought the bow-tie pasta kind of looked like little fireworks, and also that it might go over well with the kids. The 2 colors of tomatoes and basil also added to the firework look.

1 box of bow-tie pasta
1 1/2 pints of cherry tomatoes, halved (I used 1 pint of red and 1/2 pint of orange)
1 large tomato, diced
1 log (8 oz) fresh mozzarella, diced
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
splash of agave nectar
zest of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to directions in heavily salted water. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil and set aside. Whisk the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, agave, lemon and salt and pepper (to taste). Drain and rinse pasta, and toss with dressing. Let that sit a few minutes so dressing will absorb into the pasta, then toss with veggies and cheese. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

As with most pasta salads, it was good yesterday but even better today! And it makes so much, left overs are bound to happen. It was good for a potluck since there was no mayonnaise to make it funky if left out for a bit. Graham liked it, and the older kids at the party ate it, too!

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