If you are looking for a great pasta salad for this upcoming Labor Day weekend, I have a winner for you! This recipe is so easy to make, but results in a fresh and delicious side dish that compliments just about anything you could want to serve it with.
This pasta salad is also pretty versatile. I had some shredded mozzarella in my refrigerator, so I added that, but fresh mozzarella would be even better. Grilled zucchini or chicken would also make a wonderful addition. When you make this salad, be sure to taste as you go, let it sit for a bit and taste again before you serve. You may need to add a bit more balsamic, olive oil or salt and pepper.
Tomato Basil Orzo Salad
- 1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta
- 1 1/4 pounds firm-ripe tomatoes, or a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- About 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella or 8oz fresh mozzarella, cubed (optional)
- Salt and pepper
In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 to 2 quarts water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until barely tender to bite, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse and core tomatoes; chop (if using cherry tomatoes, slice in half) and place in a large bowl. Add basil, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar; mix gently.
Drain pasta well and add to tomato mixture. Mix, adding parmesan cheese, mozzarella, salt and pepper to taste.