Jul 01 2012

Summertime Comfort Food

Published by at 3:34 pm under American,Italian,Pasta,Salads,Vegetarian

 

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad

What do you eat when it’s 97 degrees out? Most people opt for salads for that crisp refreshing bite. With the wide assortment of lettuces available in your supermarket now, you can never grow tired of lettuce. Or can you? Well, good thing there’s pasta who is just as versatile as lettuce. You can choose good old semolina, whole wheat, whole grain, multi-grain, brown rice, tomato, spinach, and even butternut squash. Besides grain and flavor, you can also choose the shape and texture from short-cut pastas like farfalle and rotini to their longer counterparts like linguini and pappardelle. We love pasta, because we can devour her at any temperature with any dressing, sauce, protein, etc, but ultimately we love her because she is the ultimate comfort food.

My go-to pasta salad that is perfect for picnics, long road-trips, and even as a side for those outdoor barbecue parties is my Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad.

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad Recipe

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients:

1 lb of wheat rotini (or any short-cut pasta)

2 bell peppers (assorted colors)

1 cup of pitted kalamata olives

1/4 cup basil

1/4 cup parsley

2 pints of grape tomatoes

1 bulb of garic

1 seedless cucumber

1 lb of bocconcini or (small fresh mozzarella balls)

1 1/2 cups of white cannelloni beans (white kidney beans)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450.

Place 1 pint of your grape tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cut the top of the garlic and drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Place both baking sheet and garlic in oven for about 20-25 minutes until he grape tomatoes char and burst. Remove and allow to cool. Squeeze the cloves out of the garlic bulb; they should feel like butter or paste. Place them in a food processor along with the roasted grape tomatoes. Add the juice of a lemon, and a 1/4 of olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a pot of water to boil and add your pasta. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until al dente. Strain and place in a big salad bowl. Add the roasted garlic and tomato dressing to the pasta and toss.

Dice the bell peppers and cucumbers and add to bowl. Chop the parsley and basil and add to the bowl. Then add the mozzarella balls, beans, olive, and second pint of grape tomatoes, and toss until everything is coasted with the dressing. Serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!

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