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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pasta Salad alla Caprese

 This is my basic pasta salad made Caprese style which came to me at our family reunion lunch, I had a bunch of Insalata Caprese left over so I used it in a pasta salad the next day. My awesome daughter Danielle and I made 10 pounds of this pasta salad for my son's Wedding  Rehearsal Dinner and we had to mix it in a huge beverage bucket! See what a Caprese Insalata is here.
1 pound short pasta (shells, fusilli, etc..)
1 garlic clove minced
4 ounces sun-dried/marinated tomatoes & the oil in the jar (chopped)
3-5 anchovy fillets (chopped fine)
3 ounces Calamata/Kalamata black olives (pitted and mashed)
8 ounces Fresh Soft Mozzarella (cubed)
15-20 basil leaves (torn)
3 ounces or 6 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste (start with a good healthy pinch and taste)
Basically you want everything about the same size except for the anchovies which must be chopped fine.
Place the anchovy fillets and garlic in a large bowl, add oil and whisk briskly.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes & their oil from the jar, olives, healthy pinch of kosher salt, and basil leaves then stir gently to combine. Taste for salt adding more if needed.
Cook pasta, drain, reserving some water (1/2 cup) to add if the salad is too dry. Allow the pasta to cool off a bit but do not rinse off with water, to prevent it from sticking while cooling toss with a bit of olive oil.
Mix the pasta in with the dressing and see if it needs a little of the water.
Refrigerate until chilled, then take out 1/2 hour before serving and then add the diced mozzarella just before serving. I always taste for salt once it is cooled off as well since warmer food tastes more of salt.