As many of you know, I’ve got four boys, including two high school seniors and a college student. Whenever I tell people that I have four boys, they almost immediately make a comment about how big my grocery bill must be. I’ve learned ways to skimp and stretch out our food bill over the years (see my 5 Tips for Feeding Hungry Teenagers), but there are special celebrations when I go all out. With one son living away from home this summer, and two more headed off to college in the fall, each day I have with my boys is a time to celebrate.
This past Memorial Day weekend, one of the twins invited a handful of his friends over, and before I knew it, his twin brother invited some of his friends too. Before I knew it, our dinner for six mushroomed into dinner for twelve. Mind you, these boys are young men with big appetites, so I was worried we wouldn’t have enough food to go around.
These pictures don’t do this recipe justice. I was in such a flurry getting dinner on the table for all the boys that I didn’t have time to snap any pictures until the next day, so you’ll notice there aren’t too many pieces of fresh mozzarella left. That should give you a hint as to how much the boys enjoyed this pasta salad ;).
Fortunately, I had stocked up on groceries for the weekend from Costco’s and the supermarket, so I had plenty of food to throw down a big spread for everyone. Within 2 1/2 hours, I had prepared a smorgasbord of sorts, including this Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Pasta Salad. Made with fresh tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella (Costco’s carries this), fresh minced garlic, pesto (I whizzed together fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper), the sauce for this pasta salad simply marinades until dinnertime. When you’re ready to eat, simply cook the pasta, drain and toss with the sauce. Add a handful of fresh grated Parmesan cheese if you like.
This is a great recipe to have in your back pocket when entertaining this summer – it is totally no-fuss and actually tastes better the longer you leave the tomatoes to marinade in the garlic olive oil. My boys loved this and enjoyed leftovers the next day.
Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Pasta Salad
- 3 cups chopped chopped tomatoes
- 4 small pieces fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese cut into bite size pieces
- 1/3 cup fresh pesto
- 4-5 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- a handful of fresh grated Parmesan cheese optional
- 1 pound dried gluten-free or whole grain pasta
- In a large serving bowl, toss together tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pesto, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let marinade for an hour or longer. When ready to serve, cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Toss hot pasta with tomato mixture, adding some pasta cooking liquid to loosen up sauce. Serve.