August 08, 2014

caprese pasta salad

Yum
Extra tomatoes and basil from your garden that you need to use?  This makes a wonderful side dish for a grilled meat or seafood, but also can stand alone as a vegetarian dish with some crusty Italian bread. 


Servings 4-6 as a side dish (double the recipe to use as a main dish)
Total Time 35 minutes (plus "cool time" in the fridge for the pasta)

INGREDIENTS
  • 2/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 5 cups of chopped tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed or small pearls
  • 1/2 pound pasta, small cut 
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil


INSTRUCTIONS

Boil pasta according to package directions to al dente.  Drain and rinse under cold water.


In a large bowl drizzle the pasta with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Put a lid on it and transfer to the fridge to cool.


Simmer balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it reduces and thickens, approximately 25-30 minutes.  Set aside.  (It tends to quickly go from thickened to over done, keep a close eye on it during the last 10 minutes.  When it begins to thicken you will see it coat the spoon when tested, as shown in the picture.)  Set aside. 


 Toss the cooled pasta with the tomatoes and mozzarella.


Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with balsamic, and top with the basil.  Serve immediately and enjoy!!!

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