Panzanella-ish Pasta Salad

June  3, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger. Prop Stylist: Sophia Pappas. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8 as a side
Author Notes

A specialty in Tuscany, panzanella is a classic chopped salad that combines sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and soaked stale bread, all tossed in a zippy vinaigrette. It’s the inspiration behind this warm-weather dish, with pasta smartly standing in for the bread. Juicy summer tomatoes are grated to create a fresh, bright dressing that’s finished with olive oil, vinegar, shallots, garlic, and fresh oregano. BelGioioso’s Fresh Mozzarella Pearls are the perfect rich and creamy bitefuls to balance the tangy dressing.

This pasta salad is perfect for easy weeknight meals, either as a vegetarian main or a versatile side dish to accompany grilled fish, chicken, or steak. It’s a great make-ahead dish for picnics and outdoor entertaining because it can be assembled a few hours ahead (just be sure to keep it refrigerated, then bring to room temperature before serving). The key to a super flavorful pasta salad is tossing the just-cooked pasta in the vinaigrette while hot, allowing the pasta to absorb the dressing as it cools.
kay chun

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with BelGioioso Cheese. For more BelGioioso recipes, check out our dreamiest, cheesiest recipes here. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound short pasta (such as mezze rigatoni, penne, or fusilli)
  • 1 pound beefsteak tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot (about 1 medium shallot)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium English cucumber, diced into ¼-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large
  • 1 (8-ounce) package BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Pearls, drained
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set pasta aside.
  2. While pasta cooks, grate the beefsteak tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl until only the skins remain, then discard skins (you should have about 1 ¼ cups of pulp and juice). Add olive oil, shallot, vinegar, oregano, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Whisk until smooth and transfer ½ cup of the vinaigrette to a small bowl for later use.
  3. Add the hot pasta to the large bowl and toss to evenly coat with vinaigrette. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the pasta absorbs some of the sauce and is cooled to lukewarm, about 15 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, basil, and the reserved vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and toss until well incorporated.
  4. Transfer the pasta salad to a serving platter and top with mozzarella pearls. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

0 Reviews