Yield: about 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pasta shapes, such as shells, bow ties, etc.
  • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • step 1: HideShow Images

    Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.  Rinse with cold water.  Drain again.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet, combine the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes over medium-low heat.  Warm the oil slowly and let infuse with the garlic and chile flavors, about 5-10 minutes.  Do not let the garlic burn.  Set aside to cool slightly.

  • step 2: HideShow Images

    Add the pasta to a large bowl.  Toss with the olive oil mixture, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil until evenly combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve cold or at room temperature.