Note that the cheese in the picture is in slices. That gives the nicest presentation, however, I find the pasta salad easier to eat if the mozzarella is cubed as instructed below. Also, I serve the balsamic glaze on the side because the pasta salad tastes great without it, and it turns the salad an unappealing brown-ish color if you add it to the mix.
- 1 lb. Ditalini Pasta (or another small shape like elbow macaroni or bow ties)
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 2 tsp. salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 16 oz. fresh mozzarella
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- Balsamic glaze (optional)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta. Put it back into the pot with cold tap water. Stir, Drain it. Repeat by adding more cold water, stirring, and draining, 2-3 more times until the pasta is cooled down fully.
- Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes fairly finely. As you chop them, transfer the tomatoes along with any juice that comes out into a large bowl.
- Add the salt to the tomatoes. Stir and then gently press on the tomatoes to extract more juice. The salt and the pressing will yield quite a bit of juice after a few minutes.
- Add the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper to the tomatoes. Stir.
- Cube the balls of fresh mozzarella by ¼ inch thick, and then cut the slices into 1/4 inch strips, and then into ¼ inch cubes.
- Add the mozzarella to the tomatoes along with the cool pasta. Stir.
- Tear ¾ of the the basil leaves into ¼ to ½ inch pieces. Stir them into the pasta. Tear the remaining basil leaves and distribute them over the top.
- Serve with the balsamic glaze on the side for those who’d like to add some.
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