A quick search of this blog will show you that I really like Caprese Salads – but there really are a lot of different things you can do if you don’t mind being ever so slightly unconventional.
A dear friend gifted me some hand made Italian sausage that her father gets in Miami and I was very excited to try it – I decided a pasta salad twist would be wonderful with it. Today, when I was at the market, I saw beautiful, yellow, grape tomatoes and knew that they’d be perfect for my dish “Italian Sausage and Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil, Pasta Salad”!
- 2 pints yellow grape tomatoes
- 2 pints red grape tomatoes
- about 16 oz. mozzarella pearls
- a big handful of basil leaves
- 2 packages penne, cooked according to package directions, cooled and set aside
- 8 gorgeous hand made sausages, or whatever your local meat counter has (I’m so lucky, i know)
- equal parts extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (maybe a little over a cup each – I filled the mason jar halfway with vinegar and then add the oil to fill)
- one clove garlic minced – mine was huge, I only used half
Slice the tomatoes in half, put in your salad vessel and set aside.
Combine the vinegar, oil, and garlic in a jar with a tight fitting lid.
Wash and dry your basil. Pile one on top of each other and then roll like a cigar – using a sharp knife, slice slivers off the cigar. This is called Chiffonade, but I call them ribbons because I’m just not that fancy.
Rinse the mozzarella pearls if necessary – this helps them fall apart and gets rid of the liquid from the packaging. Add the cooled pasta, basil and mozzarella to the salad vessel. Dress and toss carefully.
I let this sit out till the sausage was ready (400 degree, preheated oven, cook for 30 minutes, flip, cook another 20) – It’s not too hot here yet and I like the salad room temperature. Definitely refrigerate the left overs though.
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