Let’s Make a New kind of Pasta Salad!

This one is packed with Italian flavors. The greens used are fresh arugula to give a little spice and tang and basil for sweetness. Then comes the delicious vine ripe tomatoes, a handful of mini mozzarella (bocconcini, ciliegine, or pearl), and a healthy dose of olive oil to incorporate it all! This is a dish to make in bulk and save for lunch.

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It’s Pasta Salad Season!

Is that a thing? Let’s make it one. It is the season for outdoor BBQ’s, late summer nights, wedding showers, etc. and a delicious pasta salad is the perfect side to bring this time of year. It’s also nice that is vegetarian to please all the non meat eaters in the crowd. Trust me, you won’t miss the meat if you decide to make it your main meal.

Make a double batch of this Italian style pasta salad and leave it in the fridge for the family to grab as lunch on a busy day.

Make my Softest No-Knead Bread or Easy No-Knead Focaccia Bread Recipe to go with this meal.

pasta salad with arugula, tomatoes, mozarella in a bowl

What Does Arugula Taste Like?


Fresh arugula leaves have a distinctive spicy kick that will turn up the flavors in your salads, pastas, sandwiches, and sauces.
The flavor can be bright, tart, peppery, and slightly bitter, depending on its maturity. If you are worried it won’t be a hit SWAP FOR SPINACH. Before you do so, I encourage you to try the dish with arugula!

What Kind of Mozzarella Should I Use

For the BEST and most FRESH results you should use mozzarella that is in water or “fresh” (NOT “low moisture mozzarella that is prepackaged and dry). Fresh mozzarella cheese has a soft, moist texture and is full of milky flavor. Similar to other fresh cheeses, mozzarella fresca is high in water content and therefore low on fat. It is soft and melt in your mouth creamy!

Fresh mozzarella is silky, soft, milky, and mild in flavor. It should be eaten at room temperature to fully enjoy its subtle and fresh flavor. Fresh mozzarella is easily found in most any supermarket.

Here are the smaller varieties I recommend. If for some reason you can’t find them use a big fresh mozzarella and cut it in cubes.

  • Pearls (as seen in these pictures and the smallest)
  • Bocconcini (in Italian means small mouthful)
  • Ciliegine (in Italian means little cherries)
Italian pasta salad recipe in a serving dish

From My Cucina (Kitchen) to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

Made with Amore, Elena

More Delicious Recipes for YOU

Salsa Fresca (fresh tomato sauce)

Arugula, Apple, and Pistachio Salad in Parmigiano Cups

Orecchiette with Sausage, Peppers, and Arugula (video)

Roasted Peppers in oil with Garlic with Pasta

Peach and Mozzarella Salad with Orange, Basil, and Poppy Seed Dressing

Baked Zucchini with Bruschetta Topping

Want to try a new type of pasta shape and variety? See my SUGGESTIONS

Italian pasta salad recipe in a serving bowl
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Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula Pasta Salad (Italian)

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Let’s Make a New kind of Pasta Salad! This one is packed with Italian flavors. The greens used are fresh arugula to give a little spice and tang and basil for sweetness. Then comes the delicious vine ripe tomatoes, a handful of mini mozzarella (bocconcini or pearl), and a healthy dose of olive oil to incorporate it all! This is a dish to make in bulk and save for lunch. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pint (275g/ 10oz) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 cups (150g/ 5oz) pre washed  arugula salad
  • 12 oz (340g) fresh mozzarella balls such as bucconcini, pearls, or ciliegine
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil, such as COLAVITA
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional- it great with and without!)
  • 3/4 lb (a little less than one full 454 grams Barilla box) pasta of your choice
  • 6 basil leaves torn by hand
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1.  In a large serving bowl toss the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar (if using), basil, salt and pepper. Let sit on counter for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, boil 6 quarts water and add 3 tablespoons of salt to season the pasta water. Cook pasta according to package directions for ‘al dente’ texture.
  3. While pasta is cooking add the arugula to the bowl of tomatoes and let sit until the pasta is done cooking.
  4. When pasta is done cooking, strain, and add to the bowl of prepared ingredients. Toss to coat evenly. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the mozzarella balls on top and drizzle liberally with more olive oil and a little salt and pepper. If you add the mozzarella when the pasta is too hot is will melt and not taste or look the same.
  5. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold!

Notes

You can easily DOUBLE this recipe! You can press the 2X icon on the recipe and it will update the information for you!

Keywords: pasta salad, arugula, tomatoes, side dish, easy dinner, pasta dinner, Italian recipe, vegetarian, 20 minute meal, pasta meal, lunch