The Italian pasta salad recipe is prepared with simple ingredients and it is a fresh and light dish, which can also be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
The pasta salad is a very simple, light and tasty dish, typical of spring and summer but you can eat all year round.
In the summer more than ever, the scent of basil and tomatoes, along with fresh mozzarella and tasty tuna are giving more flavor without adding weight.
My mum's Italian pasta salad recipe is good to prepare a practical, handy dish to take to the office, to the beach or for a picnic!
Ingredients for 4 people:
• 20 fresh basil leaves
• mozzarella cheese - 7 oz (200 g)
• short pasta : 12 oz (340 g) penne or butterflies, maccheroncini, shells, fusilli pasta
• extra virgin olive oil - as desired
• black (or green) pitted olives 1.5 oz (42 g)
• cherry tomatoes 9 oz (255 g)
• tuna oil 7 oz (200 g drained weight)
• ground pepper (or fresh chili) to taste
• salt to taste (to suit your taste)
1) Boil the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water.
2) In the mean time, wash and cut the tomatoes into small pieces and reduce the pitted olives in washers.
3) Cut the mozzarella cheese into cubes and drain the tuna in a bowl where also you add the tomatoes and the basil leaves made into small pieces with your hands. Mix the tomatoes with the tuna olive oil to flavor.
4) Drain the pasta when it is al dente and stop the cooking by placing it under running cold water. Put the well drained and cold pasta in another bowl, add the tomatoes and the olives.
5) Crumble the tuna with a fork in the first bowl, add to the pasta and also add the mozzarella.
6) Stir, and leave everything for at least half an hour before serving,
finally completing with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (about a
tablespoon or so).
Tip: if you are going to keep the pasta salad in the refrigerator for couple of days, add the tomatoes just before serving, because they tend to sour.
PS: ideal is to accompany this dish with a fresh white wine