This tomato basil pasta salad is my favorite go-to summer recipe. I whipped this together last Sunday night for a Memorial Day cookout. Its simple ingredients make it a crowd pleaser. If you want to get crafty, this recipe is a great starting point. I know all recipes online claim to be "quick" and "easy" but I think once you read the steps below you will agree that anyone can handle this recipe. Plus, it requires no oven use (huge plus when it is 80+ degrees outside)! Here is what you will need:
- 1/2 pound pasta
- 3 fresh basil leaves
- 2 cups of grape tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls (I buy the tiny ones)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- OPTIONAL: 2 tablespoons sweet onion (chopped)
- OPTIONAL: grilled chicken, ham, turkey (any protein you like!)
- Cook pasta to taste and cool by placing pasta in a strainer and running cold water over it.
- While pasta is boiling rinse and chop the basil leaves and set aside. Cut grapes tomatoes and fresh mozzarella balls in half.
- In a small bowl combine balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil.
- In a large mixing bowl combine pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Add salt and pepper to your liking. If serving immediately mix in olive oil mixture. [It's best to store the pasta and dressing separately and mix right before serving.]