Farfalle Pasta Salad With Cherry Tomatoes And Mozzarella

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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. So, here it is! Enjoy!

For the Dressing:

DSC_3687 nx26 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**
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

Place dressing ingredients into a processor bowl and process until tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Set dressing aside.

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 & olives; toss; season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Note: I changed things around a bit to so the salad could be assembled at the office, as not only do I hate the taste of tomatoes that have been sitting around in dressing for a long time, but the pasta sucks up the dressing and then the salad is dry. Here’s what I did. I cooked the pasta, drained it & tossed with a bit of EVO, cooled it & 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 & cherry tomatoes into individual freezer bags. I sent along a large salad bowl, salad servers & those disposable salt & pepper grinders you can get at Costco, for seasoning when everything was combined. Seemed to work!

** Chiffonade is stacking the basil leaves together, rolling them up, then slicing across the roll into thin slices.

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