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Tomato, mozzarella and basil is no fail combination. For a recent Barbecue party, I was looking for a new cold salad recipe when I came across the recipe for Caprese salad which is a simple Italian salad made of basil, tomato and mozzarella tossed into a basic olive oil dressing. I had recently also come across a basil vinaigrette recipe and thought of crossing the two recipes for the salad.
Caprese Pasta Salad
Preparation time: 10 mins |Cooking time: 10 mins |Serves: 2
200 gms pasta (I used Chifferi Rigati)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
150 gms mozzarella cheese
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Crushed black pepper to taste
1 tbsp dried oregano
* Cook pasta in 2 litres of salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al-dente, stirring occasionally. Drain well and run under cold water. Keep aside. This pasta tastes best cold, if you can, it is better if you can cook the pasta a couple of hours before and chill it in fridge.
* Loosely tear the basil leaves into your food processor jar. Add in olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Pulse it to a paste.
* Deseed the tomatoes and chop them into bite size pieces. You can also use cherry tomatoes in the recipe. Then you just need to half them. We rarely find cherry tomatoes here so I usually use the regular salad tomatoes.
* Chop the mozzarella into similar bite size cubes.
* In a big salad bowl, toss the cold pasta, tomato and mozzarella chunks with the basil vinaigrette. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
* Serve Cold.
* For a variation, you can also try mint pesto instead of basil vinaigrette.
Food is never just food. I believe it’s story telling, it’s conversation. It brings people together and it speaks a universal language! I love to play around in my kitchen. The thrill of being able to create something new and sharing it with others is what fuels my passion for cooking. The fact that dear husband is a foodie and an honest critique helps! I blog about my adventures in the kitchen at http://www.myweekendkitchen.in/