Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

Published July 1, 1999.

Why this recipe works:

When we wanted a full-flavored, refreshing pasta salad recipe with the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil clinging to the pasta strands, we began by seeding the tomatoes, which eliminated excess juice. Making the sauce for our pasta salad recipe at the last minute allowed the flavors to… read more

When we wanted a full-flavored, refreshing pasta salad recipe with the tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil clinging to the pasta strands, we began by seeding the tomatoes, which eliminated excess juice. Making the sauce for our pasta salad recipe at the last minute allowed the flavors to meld perfectly, without turning dull or losing the sweet, bright flavor of fresh tomatoes, as can happen when they're marinated.

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Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

Use only the ripest, most flavorful round tomatoes you can find. Avoid plum tomatoes because they are too firm and tend not to soften, even with the heat of the just-cooked pasta. The tomatoes can be diced a couple hours in advance, but to prevent the garlic from becoming too pungent and the salt from drawing out the tomatoes’ juices, wait until the pasta is cooking to add the seasonings to the tomatoes. Short, stubby pasta shapes such as orecchiette, fusilli, and farfalle (bow ties) are the best choice to catch juicy bits of sauce.

Ingredients

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