Perfect Summer Pasta Salad

By • June 17, 2013 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This pasta salad is simple to make, and it bursts with summer flavors! Little tip: whenever you are prepping the tomatoes, make sure you take out the seeds so all you are left with is the flesh of the tomato. You want all of the excess water to be released from the tomato so that you are left with a flavorful tomato salad! Also, this salad can be made ahead and actually tastes better after it has time to mellow and mingle in the fridge. amber wilson | for the love of the south

Serves 4 as a side

  • 1/2 pound of penne pasta (or your favorite pasta)
  • 1 pound of tomatoes ( you can use beefsteak, grape, cherry or homegrown tomatoes)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, leaves only
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese shavings, to garnish
  1. Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente and drain well. Set aside.
  2. Set up a mesh strainer onto a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Dice larger tomatoes, such as homegrown or beefsteak, and if you are using grape or cherry tomatoes, slice in half. Place the tomatoes in the mesh strainer and sprinkle with salt (about 1 teaspoon or so should do.) At this point, the salt is not just for seasoning but drawing the moisture out of the tomatoes. Let the tomatoes sit in the strainer for at least 10 minutes, slightly squeezing the tomatoes with your hand every once in a while, coaxing the water out of the tomatoes. Allowing the tomatoes to drain this way will leave you with a more concentrated tomato flavor for your pasta salad.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small container (or shake all the ingredients together in a Mason jar.) Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  5. After the tomatoes have been sitting in the strainer for at least 10 minutes, place tomatoes in a large mixing bowl and discard any juice that came from the tomatoes. Add the finely chopped parsley and dressing to the bowl. Mix to combine. Add the pasta to the mixing bowl and toss again until all of the pasta is covered with the dressing and tomatoes. Top with Parmesan cheese shavings and serve. Enjoy!
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