20-Minute Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Pasta Salad

This 20-Minute Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Pasta Salad is fresh, fast, and flavorful!
This 20-Minute Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Pasta Salad is fresh, fast, and flavorful!
Ingredients
For the Basil Dressing:
  • 2 ounces fresh basil (1 really big handful!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional, but it adds a nice sweetness)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes OR freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)

For the Pasta Salad:
  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • (1) 12 ounce container marinated mozzarella balls, removed from oil
  • 2 ounces fresh basil, thinly sliced (1 really big handful)

Instructions
For the Basil Dressing:
  • In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar (if using), salt, and pepper. Pulse on high for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, or until smooth. There should be no large chunks of anything! If there is, continue blending. Set aside until needed.

For the Pasta Salad:
  • Place a large pot of salted water over high heat; bring to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  • While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half; thinly slice the basil and thinly slice the red onion; set aside until needed. Remove the mozzarella balls from the oil and set aside.
  • When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it at once and quickly rinse it under cold water until cool, about 1 minute. Place cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add dressing to pasta, then add the tomatoes, basil, onion, and mozzarella balls. Toss to combine.
  • Serve at once, or chill until needed.