Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Pasta Salad

As we move into the casual dining of summer, Jeanette Chen of Jeanette’s Healthy Living offers this wonderful salad, made with fresh and simple ingredients. Enhance the flavor by allowing the tomatoes to marinate in the garlic olive oil overnight. Then just add the pasta and you’ll be ready to impress the crowd at your next picnic or barbecue.

Ingredients

3 cups chopped tomatoes
4 small pieces fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup fresh pesto
4-5 cloves fresh garlic minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
a handful of fresh grated Parmesan cheese – optional
1 pound dried gluten-free or whole grain pasta

Directions

In a large serving bowl, toss together tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pesto, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let marinade for an hour or longer. When ready to serve, cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Toss hot pasta with tomato mixture, adding some pasta cooking liquid to loosen up sauce. Serve.

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