I went to a 1st-birthday party last weekend for my friends' son, Ethan. (Happy Birthday Ethan!) My friend, Kristi did a wonderful job at hosting. Everyone was so welcoming, and sweet, but what did I expect of native Texans? We ate well, had good conversation and ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the birthday boy.
- 1 pound whole wheat short pasta, such as fusili, bowtie or penne
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup pearl-sized fresh mozzarella, drained
- 1/4 pound salami, sliced about as wide as the pasta you are using
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, julienned
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (use the lower amount if you prefer a more tart dressing)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Boil the pasta in salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente.
Meanwhile, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper flakes in the bottom of a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, onion and basil on top of the dressing.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the large bowl. Toss to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature or cool.
NOTE: I think raw onions in pasta salad can be a little overwhelming, so I left them out. But this pasta salad was so good without them. You could also use about 1/2 c. bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing in this recipe in lieu of the homemade dressing if you're pressed for time, but it is really quick and easy as long as you have all the ingredients. Other good additions would be olives and artichoke hearts.
I doubled the recipe and took most of it to the party, but I saved a little for my honey and me. I will definitely make this again!