Regular blog followers know how much I love basil and the combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil served as a caprese salad is an all time favorite. We're enduring a heat wave right now and I knew what would be cool and delicious for dinner tonight. I incorporated the three main ingredients of a caprese salad and mixed it with mini bow tie pasta and dressed it with a balsamic vinaigrette. It was perfect as is, but I can imagine it would be over the top with the addition of cooked diced chicken or grilled shrimp.
8 oz. mini bow tie (farfalle) pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed, and diced
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
3/4 - 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, stacked together, rolled tightly and thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
Let cooked and drained pasta cool.
In a large serving bowl, combine pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and dressing. Lightly toss in the basil leaves, salt, and pepper.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Additional dressing may be added just before serving if needed. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.