Friday, 1 April 2011

Pasta fredda - pasta salad with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese

This is a salad I make quite often for lunch in the summer when it's so hot you really don't feel like eating anything at all. This recipe serves 2.

300 grammes of pasta, I often use "penne rigate"
2 mozzarella cheese, approx. 300-400 grammes in total
6-8 tomaoes
5-6 basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
Salt and extra virgin olive oil

 Boil the pasta for about 18 minutes instead of 9-10 minutes which is normal cooking time for penne pasta. This is because pasta becomes tougher to chew when it's cold so if you cook the pasta for only 9 minutes you'll end up serving your guests pebbles instead of a delicious pasta salad. Note! Do not rinse pasta in cold water after cooking it, because you'll also rinse away the starch that makes sauce and cheese stick to the pasta.

 Divide garlic cloves in half and place in a bowl. I usually also rub the bowl with one of the garlic cloves. The garlic is not to be eaten, it should just give flavour to the food. This is very common in Italian cuisine. Cut the tomatoes into small cubes and the mozzarella cheese into small pieces and add to the bowl. Add some salt and the basil leaves. Stir well with a spoon and add a dash of olive oil. Now you mix in the hot pasta and give it another stir. Put lid on bowl and place in fridge to cool for some hours or even overnight. Before serving, stir well and if needed add some more olive oil if the pasta seems a little dry. Serve the pasta with some nice, fresh bread and possibly also a glass of wine - preferably Italian. 

                                                    Buon appetito!

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