I recently made this salad for my husband to take to his office pot-luck lunch. I received a phone call and emails saying how much the staff loved the salad. I hope you enjoy it as much as they did! Something you might like to try is to serve the salad ingredients over warm pasta if serving immediately.
For the Dressing:
6 Tbsp. EVO
½ cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. capers, rinsed & drained
1 garlic clove, minced
For the Salad:
1 lb. farfalle (bowtie) pasta
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
8 oz. mozzarella cheese (either fresh or regular) cut into ½” cubes
1 cup packed, fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced/chiffonade (see below)
1 cup freshly grated Reggiano-Parmigiano, or Grana Padano cheese
¾ cup to 1 cup pitted, oil cured or brined black olives, cut in quarters
Make the dressing:
Place dressing ingredients into a processor bowl and process until tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Set dressing aside.
Make the salad:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 1 Tbsp. salt and the farfalle; cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Add dressing to hot pasta; toss to coat. Cool, stirring occasionally. Add cherry tomatoes , mozzarella, basil, cheese and olives; toss; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
Note: I changed things around a bit to so the salad could be assembled at the office. I dislike the taste of tomatoes that have been sitting around in dressing for a long time as the pasta sucks up the dressing and then the salad is dry. So I cooked the pasta, drained it, tossed with a bit of EVO, cooled it and put it into a large freezer bag. I made the dressing; put it into a jar with a tight fitting lid, put the cubed mozzarella cheese, basil, Reggiano-Parmigiano or Grana Padano, olives and cherry tomatoes into individual freezer bags. I sent along a large salad bowl, salad servers and those disposable salt and pepper grinders you can get at Costco, so the salad could be seasoned when everything was combined. And, from what I heard, what I did worked out very well. I know I’d be doing this again for a picnic or to take to a buffet/pot luck.
Chiffonade is done by stacking the basil leaves together, rolling them up, then slicing across the roll into thin slices.