Today’s recipe is not one I originally planned to share with you. I had planned on sharing the recipe to the delicious soft garlic knots we had with our favourite chili that we had this weekend.
But, while browsing through my pictures from this summer, I came across these pictures of my most favourite summer salad (seriously, not just saying). And I just had to share it before the last of summer’s tomato and basil plants die away.
These pictures make me so happy and not because I think they’re totally great (because that’s totally obvious), but because it reminds me that this is the first year that I’ve ever been able to grow a tomato plant and actually harvest a proper bounty – from two plants this year, we harvested about 30 tomatoes!!
In the past four years that we’ve had a garden, my tomato plants have always to succumbed to an early death brought on by swarms of aphids. Total props to the (super cheap – $5) plants from Canadian tire, of all places! It lasted a whole summer while many, many $20 plants have died.
You’ll want to make this recipe, not only because you probably have everything on hand to make it between your pantry + garden, but also because it is one of those “so simple, why didn’t I think of it” recipes. I took it to a potluck a few weeks ago and expected tons of leftovers because, honestly, who goes to a potluck to eat a pasta salad – but, disappointingly, we had no leftovers.
Hopefully that is a testament to this simple recipe, which is not a recipe at all but more of a “guideline”- this is definitely a no measure, add as much of each ingredient as you like dish.
Tomato Basil Pasta Recipe
- Small shell pasta*, cooked
- Tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Basil, cut into thin ribbons – a chiffonade
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- First things first, I’m not particular about much in this salad, but I do insist that you use small shells as your pasta for this dish. I’ve used other shapes and trust me, it’s just not the same. Also, I prefer regular, not cherry tomatoes – but I’m not too picky here – just be sure to use a good summer tomato.
- Start off by adding olive oil to a large bowl – I start with just enough to coat the bottom of the bowl. Next, add in the tomato, basil and half the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper and stir, gently, to mix all the ingredients.
- Mix in the hot, drained pasta and stir gently. Let the pasta cool off for a couple of minutes and then add in the remaining half of the mozzarella. This is just a personal preference because I don’t like my mozzarella all melted – I usually just end up adding more if this happens anyway, so now I just save ½ aside for this purpose.
- Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. At this point, you can add in more of any ingredient you think the salad needs more of. I usually enjoy each bite to have a piece of tomato and a bit of basil, which is why I’ve laid out the ingredients from greatest to least in terms of quantities.