Tweeted: January 12, 2010
Origin: The Cook's Encyclopedia of Vegetarian Cooking by Linda Fraser adaptations have been made to original recipe.
Penne Pasta Salad
serves 4 (but I like to make a double batch. It tastes so much better after soaking up the juices overnight and it's great for a light lunch for a few days.)
2 1/4 cups dried penne
1 pound grape tomatoes, halved
10 oz. mozzarella, drained and cut into smallish cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
2Tbsp. +or- balsamic vinegar (I tend to like more but start with this and add more if you like)
zest and juice of one lemon
15 fresh basil leaves, shredded (optional, I don't use this unless I can get it fresh from the garden)
salt and pepper to taste
basil leaves for garnish (also optional)
1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, until just tender.
2. In a large bowl, (large enough to fit everything, including the pasta) mix together the oil, vinegar, lemon zest and juice.
3. Add cubed mozz and halved tomatoes to the oil and vinegar. Mix well. I usually try a piece of the cheese at this point to make sure the oil and vinegar ratio is acceptable but remember that it's going to be a lot weaker than this once it's spread throughout the pasta. But you'll have plenty of time to test again along the way and adjust as necessary.
4. Drain pasta and let it sit for a bit, 20 minutes is probably fine. Adding it to the mix too soon melts the cheese slightly.
5. Mix the pasta in with the rest of it and add salt and pepper to taste and adjust vinegar accordingly. Garnish if you so choose with basil.
Serving suggestion: Great bring along to summer pot lucks or to shake off that winter cabin fever feeling with a summery meal.