2 cups (8 ozs uncooked) orecchiette (little ears) or another medium-sized pasta of your choice
2 cups grape tomatoes: red, yellow, or a mix (as shown), halved
2 cups fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnishing
1-2 cloves garlic, minced fine
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of Salt, such as Salts-of-the-Earth* Arrabiatta di Roma, Mediterranean Memories, or Little Italy or a sea salt of choice
3-4 Tbsp Flying Olive Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Flying Olive Single or Flavored Variety of choice
Flying OliveTraditional Aged Balsamic or Sicilian Lemon Balsamic to drizzle, if desired
Grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish, if desired
Cook pasta according to package directions. (Besides being a little unusual, I like the orecchiette because they hold some of the delicious dressing). When done, drain in a colander and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, cut up the grape tomatoes. Add the mozzarella balls and set aside. In a blender, mix the basil and garlic and coarsely chop. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Drizzle in the Flying Olive EVOO and blend again, scraping down the sides if needed. Add this mixture to the mozzarella/tomato mixture and gently fold to coat with the dressing mixture.
When the pasta is cool, add the tomatoes and mozzarella. Stir gently. Cover and place in the refrigerator at least an hour. Before serving check seasonings. You may need to add a bit more EVOO if too dry. Serve, if desired, with a drizzle of Flying Olive Balsamic Vinegar, Parmesan cheese, and a basil leaf or two for garnish.
Submitted by Barb L.
*Available in the Eastgate Store