Tomato Pasta Salad

Tomato Pasta Salad

I have been enjoying plenty of fresh, local tomatoes and I am always looking for new ways to enjoy them. This salad really celebrates the tomato.

I used tomatoes three different ways in this one salad. I started with a homemade tomato pasta, added fresh diced tomatoes and finished it with a tomato salad dressing.

The salad has fresh mozzarella cheese added to it, along with some hard cooked eggs. You could easily add cooked chicken or shrimp, if you prefer.

Here is the recipe for the salad and the dressing. I posted the recipe for the homemade tomato pasta at the bottom of this post. You can, of course, use store-bought pasta, if you prefer.

Tomato Pasta Salad

8 oz. tomato pasta or tri-color pasta, I used homemade

12 oz. diced tomatoes

2 sweet peppers, seeded and chopped

½ c. sliced green onions

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed or shredded

3-4 hard cooked eggs

Tomato herb dressing- recipe follows- or use the vinaigrette of your choice.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Combine with remaining ingredients and toss.  Serve immediately or chill. Serves 4.

Tomato and Herb Dressing

1 c. tomatoes, peeled and seeded, fresh or canned

½ c. chopped parsley

2 green onions, chopped

2 T. fresh celery or lovage leaves

2 T. fresh basil leaves or 2 t. dried

½ t. each salt and garlic powder

½ c. olive oil

Dash hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Makes 1½ cups.

Fresh Tomato Pasta

2 c. flour

1 t. salt

½ -2/3 c. tomato juice- I just pureed a fresh tomato in the blender, seeds, skin and all. You might need a little more.

Fresh minced herbs, like chives, basil, parsley, rosemary, optional

Place flour and salt in bowl and stir to blend. Start adding the tomato juice, stirring to form a firm dough.  Knead until smooth and cover dough, allowing to rest at least 20 minutes. I like to mix the dough in a food processor. Just mixes faster. You can also mix in a stand mixer using the dough hook. Once dough is rested, roll out to desired thickness and cut into noodles or use as the base for ravioli.  Fresh pasta cooks in just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully. Serves 3-4.

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