My friend over at Barefeet in the Kitchen gave me a fabulous gift of a beautiful basket of tomatoes from her garden. I was so excited to eat them, that I went searching her blog for this fabulous Balsamic Tomato Salad with Trottole and Mozarella that she had posted a few weeks ago. I was very excited to try it!!!
So, I put a little Italian spin on this fantastic recipe. The salad and the tomatoes are delicious!!! The flavor of the garlic on the tomatoes, the tang of the balsamic and the nuttiness of the Parmesan cheese is a perfect combination. I also added salami to the final version and it is AMAZING!!! The salami gave it a feeling of a full meal adding a true meatiness to the dish.
Of course Mr. W turned his nose up at this dish, it does after all have a vegetable in it that has not been processed (although I think I am slowly wearing him down with my kryptonite) we will see first roasted red peppers, next could be ricotta cheese.... Em on the other hand loved the tomatoes, I couldn't get her to eat anything else. Or should I say Em was so excited about the tomatoes, she pushed everything else aside.
I am eating my last serving of this as I write this post. I have really enjoyed this and have been mixing it up to turn it into comfort food at night. I cover it in grated Parmesan cheese and a pat or two of butter and heat it up in the microwave. OH MY!!! IT IS HEAVENLY! Mmmmmm.
Italian Balsamic Pasta Salad
6 cups assorted small tomatoes, I used sunburst, campari, cherry and grape tomatoes (cut in half)
1/2 cup basil, chopped small1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped small
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
3 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane1 pound mini penne
kosher salt, handful to season pasta water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 ounces black olives, sliced
8 ounces mozarella cheese, diced
4 ounces hard salami sliced thin, chopped to desired size
fresh Parmesan grated or shaved, for each dish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Add olive oil to pasta and stir. Add the tomato mixture, olives balsamic vinegar and salami and toss to coat thoroughly.
Before serving mix in the mozzarella cheese and toss to coat. As you plate each dish, add shaved or grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.