This Creamy Mediterranean Pasta Salad With Mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, red onions, homemade Italian dressing, and fresh herbs is perfect as a summer main or side, great for BBQs, parties, picnics, or just because! It's refreshing but creamy and comforting at the same time!
1pounduncooked pastause gluten-free pasta for GF eaters
3cupscherry, grape or regular tomatoescut in half or cubed
2tbspextra-virgin olive oil
8ozfresh mozzarella like ciliegine or regular mozzarella ballscut in half or cubed
1/2cupslice red onion
Fresh basiloptional, chopped, for topping
For the Homemade Italian Dressing (makes 2 cups)
1/2cuphigh-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/4cuphigh-quality white vinegarred vinegar will work too but the dressing might have a stronger flavor
1/4cupParmesan cheesefreshly grated
2tspDijon mustardroom temperature
2tspwhite granulated sugar
1/2tspground black pepper
1dashred pepper flakesoptional, not necessary if you're adding pepperoncini to the pasta
Cook your pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss with a little vegetable oil to keep it from sticking. Cover and set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to burst out of their skins and are fragrant (about 6-7 minutes), then remove from heat and allow to cool down before moving onto the next step.
Meanwhile, make the Homemade Italian Dressing. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together until fully combined and smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. You can also use a blender for this step.
In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together: pasta, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, sliced red onions, pepperoncini (optional). Add in some of the dressing and reserve the remaining dressing for serving (or leftovers). Cover with plastic wrap and pop in the refrigerator. Chill for a few hours or up to 2 days. Pasta salads usually taste better the day after you make them :)
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