Now might be a good time to admit that I, personally, did not try this salad. Brace yourselves for this declaration....I don't like tomatoes. I know, I know, terrible, isn't it? They look so delicious, but as they enter my mouth, no, can't do it. (Somewhere my Italian ancestors are crying out in horror. LOL)
I'm taking a gamble here sharing something that I haven't tried, but like I said, it was well received by my tomato loving family.
Caprese Pasta Salad
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound pasta, such as campanelle (I used this), penne or fusilli
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (if you're anything like me, you'll have to clench your jaw tight not to eat all of this before it hits the salad! lol)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I used less)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt & pepper. Add sugar, if desired (depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes). Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Marinate at room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. (I like mine al dente) Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
Add the pasta and mozzarella to the tomato mixture and toss. Stir in the basil and lemon zest, and season with salt & pepper. Refrigerate, tossing occasionally, until serving.
Good, simple ingredients & a cinch to make. What's not to love? (I won't answer that.)