This salad feeds a crowd! It is not only kind to your waist line but also to your wallet! You can also make this salad a day in advance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box orecchiette or ditalini pasta
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, either baby mozzarella balls or just cubed fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cup (2 generous handfuls) fresh basil, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (optional)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ -1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Balsamic reduction for garnish- you can find this right in the grocery store these days and it is fantastic! Usually it is in the same isle as the other vinegars and salad dressings.

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water according to box directions, until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, Pre-heat oven to Convection mode 375°. Place pine nuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375° for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Once pasta is done, drain and allow to cool. (You can run it under some cool water for a minute if you are impatient like me!)
  4. Once pasta is cool, toss with remaining ingredients. You can certainly make this pasta salad the day before, just do not add seasoning, balsamic vinegar or oil until you are ready to serve. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and enjoy!