Simple Pasta Salad


1 lb. shells
½ cup pine nuts
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 bunch scallions
3 roasted red peppers
2 balls (large size) fresh mozzarella
1 bunch basil
olive oil
kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 lemon
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add pasta.

Cook about 8 minutes or until done but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

Note: If you are going to prepare this salad ahead of time, rinse the pasta off and add the remaining ingredients once the pasta is completely cooled.

Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a small skillet over low heat.

Toast, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat when evenly golden brown. Set aside.

Cut grape tomatoes in half lengthwise. Remove ends from scallions and discard. Chop thinly, using only the white and pale green parts. Chop the roasted red peppers into small strips. Cut the mozzarella into cubes about the same size as the cherry tomatoes. Set aside.

Place pasta in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over pasta until nicely coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add all of the prepared ingredients.





Remove tiny leaves from basil stems and add directly to the bowl. Stack four to five larger basil leaves on top of one another. Roll into a tight spiral, then cut into thin strips. Add to the bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the top of the whole mixture. Add a few handfuls of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Toss gently with a large spoon. Taste, add more salt, pepper, olive oil or lemon juice if necessary.




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