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Pasta Salad with Garlic Marinated Tomatoes

Keep a careful eye on the garlic as it cooks in the oil and lower the heat if it begins to brown, otherwise the garlic will taste bitter and allow at least 30 minutes for the tomatoes to marinate in the garlic infused oil for maximum flavor.

Ingredients

  • 5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves torn or thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound pasta cooked al dente (I used bucatini but any pasta will do)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella bocconcini balls sliced in half

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, cook garlic in oil over medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes.Let cool.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, 1/2 cup basil, capers, lemon zest, red-pepper flakes, and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour the garlic oil & chips over tomato mixture, marinate for about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Cook the pasta, drain, and add to the bowl with the tomato mixture, bocconcini balls and lemon juice and toss gently. Top with remaining 1/2 cup basil and additional lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  4. adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine