We have had such a cold summer, it is no surprise that we still don’t have ripe cherry tomatoes in our garden. Maybe in the next couple of days – with our temperature finally in the 90s. Usually I wait all summer for those babies to be ripe, and I hold off on all my good tomato dishes. This year – I figured I would be waiting forever, so I actually had to buy some at the store just to make this recipe I found in Bon Appetit. It looked so good, I couldn’t wait.
The olives gave this pasta salad so much flavor, and the fresh mozzarella and tomatoes were like icing on the top. The colors were beautiful, and it make a perfect side dish with our burgers and dogs. I can’t wait until our cherry tomatoes are ripe in the garden, so I can make this again.
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 cups coarsely chopped pitted green olives (from about 6 ounces unpitted whole olives), divided
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound gemelli, fusilli, or rotelle pasta
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 8-ounce package small (cherry-size) fresh mozzarella balls in water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Fresh mozzarella balls packed in water are available at many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.
With machine running, add garlic clove to processor through feed tube and process until finely chopped; turn off machine. Add 1 cup chopped olives, capers, red wine vinegar, anchovy paste, mustard, and crushed red pepper. Using 6 on/off turns, process to chop coarsely. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil, forming coarse puree. Transfer to bowl; stir in remaining 1 cup olives. Season olivada to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Olivada can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Transfer drained pasta to large bowl. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over pasta; toss to coat. Cool, stirring occasionally.
Add olivada, halved tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano to pasta; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 6 as a side dish.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Green Olivada