Oodles of Noodles Part II

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Greetings lovelies! Here we are halfway through the month, which is halfway through the year, which means it’s practically Christmas. Just kidding. But really, time moves so quickly and here in the Southwest I can already notice the days getting slightly shorter. Even though the days get shorter, doesn’t mean there isn’t time to get outside and have a BBQ with you closest friends and family.  

This recipe was the second most favorite of the bunch and people seemed to really enjoy the nod towards the classic Caprese salad. A traditional Caprese salad is made of just three ingredients: tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Delicious in its own right, however can be difficult to serve to large crowds. This take on the classic combines the brightness of the tomatoes with the creaminess of the mozzarella and the herbaceous quality of fresh basil, which all stand up nicely to the hearty pasta and balsamic dressing. Once again, for convenience sake, I used a bottled dressing. Dani’s go-to Vinaigrette would be a perfect substitute for bottled salad dressing in this recipe.  

For this recipe we are creating a chiffonade of basil, which sounds really fancy sch-mancy. But incredibly easy to do. Basically this method of cutting create ribbons of basil that look really pretty. Here’s what you do: 

Step 1

Stack up several leaves of basil on top of each other 

Step 2

Roll them up into a cigarette shape 

Step 3

Slice across the roll 

You go, you! 

There. You've done it. Created a chiffonade. 

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Ingredients 

 

  • 1 lb box of Rotini Pasta 
  • 1 qt cherry tomatoes, cut in half 
  • 1/4c. basil chiffonade or chopped.  
  • 1 8 oz package of fresh mozzarella pearls, or fresh mozzarella cut into cubes 
  • 1/4c. - 1/2c. balsamic salad dressing  

Directions:  

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain and rinse with cold water until pasta has cooled.  
  2. Cut qt of tomatoes in half, cut your basil into a chiffonade, and separate mozzarella pearls.  
  3. Add pasta, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella pearls to large serving bowl.  
  4. Add vinaigrette to mixture, starting with 1/4c. and thoroughly mix to combine. Add more vinaigrette to taste being careful to not overdress. You can always add more.