Fresh tomato and basil come together with a few other ingredients to make a simple pasta salad with a huge depth of flavor.
The last official weekend of summer is here and I wanted to make something different to go with our BBQ. By the end of summer we have all had more than our share of the normal potato salads and pasta salads. It was time that we tried something new, something that we never made before.
I did a lot of searching around, and wasn’t able to find the exact recipe that I was wanting. Nothing really jumped out and said “THIS is what you need to make!”. Eventually I did find something that was close, from the New York Times but it called for 1/2 lb of zucchini which we used all ours on this Zucchini Pizza Lasagna so using this method worked perfect for what I had on hand to come up with a plan on how to make my new pasta salad even better. The result is this recipe for Cheesy Italian Pasta Salad.
The end result was even better than what I expected. Not too many ingredients, super easy preparation, and it came together really quick. We will definitely be making this one again. For a simple pasta salad it actually had a depth of flavors that just went together with the fresh from the garden tomatoes and basil.
I remember the first time going to a really fancy restaurant and being able to taste each individual ingredient. The balance of flavors just lets you know that whomever is in the kitchen really has an understanding, that they know what they are doing, they’re a professional chef not just a cook. There’s a reason why we’ll wait in long lines for a table at some restaurants. We all know of places that are worth the wait.
Then you have new restaurants popping up around town. We have to depend on what people are saying on review sites, or just try it out. Sometimes taking that chance can be a huge disappointment. I just had that disappointing experience at a new place in town this week. I am not one to complain, so most of that dish landed in the trash, but be assured, I will not be going back. It’s just not worth my time to send something back to the kitchen, and then wait again (just to have it come out just as bad as the first time). I’m not a picky eater at all, but it does need to be not burnt to a crisp. Not all these little hipster places are going to be around long, but when you find a good one there’s so many great things to try you want to go back again and again.
For this dish you could add more to it if you want, I might try it again with some black olives and fresh Italian parsley, maybe a pinch of oregano would be good as well. I served it with a little chill, the next day it might need another spoonful of mayo mixed in if you have any leftover that is. Hope you enjoy!!
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