Misfits, I am blown away at the response I’ve received to this vegetarian, mayo-free pasta salad.
I mean, I invented it on a whim. In the kitchen. Just, on the fly. Without any magic sauce (mayo). And oh. Wow. My inbox/voicemail/motherfucking carrier falcons have been flooded with requests for the recipe.
And it’s a pretty risky thing to overwhelm a carrier falcon. They have those badass talons and shit. So that tells you how good this stuff must be.
It’s guaranteed to please, impress, and save lives. Pretty much a sure thing in an uncertain world. So basically, I’m like the Red Cross.
So I recommend that you use this pasta salad to mitigate the risk in life’s various tenuous moments. That barbecue your lover’s boss is throwing? Bring this. Your friend’s casual patio potluck wedding shower but oh my god no one I mean no one likes the guy she’s marrying he’s such a mama’s boy you know it’s going to be an uphill battle against her witch MIL for their whole marriag–
Where the fuck was I?
Oh, right, bring the pasta salad. Your first date picnic? Stow this in your basket, snuggled safely between the sparkling wine and the contraceptives.
What? WE WERE ALL THINKING IT.
So to let tomato and basil (and pesto) season pass us by and keep this recipe all to Bad Mama Genny’s self? Would be unthinkable. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m too much of a cupcake.
And you’re just too adorable when you flash me those big, sad, misfit eyes. Yes, you are! Ooooh, YESH YOU ARE WHO’S ADORABULZ PEEKABOO YOU ARE YESH YOU ARE!
Let’s never again speak of this moment we’ve shared.
So here you go: BMG’s Caprese Pasta Salad. Make it and be just like the Red Cross!
My Most Requested Recipe of the Year: BMG’s Caprese Pasta Salad
1 lb. pasta (Campanelle is a great, dramatic shape for this, I used farfalle this time)
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved (or several large tomatoes, diced, with extra tomato juice squeezed out for another use)
1 lb. small, fresh mozzarella balls, halved (or if you’re using one large mozzarella ball, cut into 1/2 inch chunks)
1/2 red onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper (a little coarse is best)
2 lemons, juiced
olive oil (about 6-8 Tablespoons, give or take)
a generous handful of fresh basil, chiffonaded finely; if it’s out of season, use 2 pesto buttons
3/4 to 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, depending on your tastes (parmesan works, too, but the flavor will be different)
Boil the pasta, keeping it pretty al dente. Rinse under cold water, toss with a bit of olive oil, and leave out about 2-3 cups for another use (otherwise it’s too many noodles).
Toss the tomatoes, red onion, basil strips, and mozzarella balls with the pasta.
In a large bowl, use a fork to smash 3 cloves of garlic into the salt and some freshly ground pepper.
When it’s a chunky paste, whisk in the lemon juice. Now, while still whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste it. Is it too sour? Add a little more olive oil. If you’re using pesto sauce instead of basil, whisk it in until evenly distributed.
Now use that fork to incorporate the pecorino romano cheese. This dressing will be thicker than your average vinaigrette–kind of like a runny paste. Add until you like the taste and texture.
Now toss the pasta stuff with the dressing stuff.
Taste it. Adjust the salt, pepper, or cheese if necessary. Refrigerate until serving.
© 2011, Genevieve P. Charet. All rights reserved.