… plus bell peppers, grilled corn, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil!

Easy Summer Harvest Pasta Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomato Purée & Smoked Mozzarella

It’s got a lot goin’ on, to say the least.

Easy Summer Harvest Pasta Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomato Purée & Smoked Mozzarella

To me the perfect pasta salad is one that could easily pose as a side or a main, and this one can absolutely do both. I’ve enjoyed this for meatless Monday dinner, a casual weekend lunch, and as an accompaniment to burgers and steak, so no matter what’s on your agenda this pasta has a place in your schedule. This is an especially great recipe for when you can’t fathom turning on your oven OR serving your guests some lame, mayo-filled disaster, so consider this perfect for just about anything.

While this recipe may seem busy with ingredients, it’s actually the perfect “kitchen sink” pasta salad — No matter what combo of vegetables you happen to have on hand, this salad delivers major satisfaction in a majorly delicious way. The key is to always stick with the sun-dried tomato purée + smoked mozzarella — together these two ingredients taste like a summer DREAM, so you need to be eating it.

Easy Summer Harvest Pasta Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomato Purée & Smoked Mozzarella

I’ve always been averse to pasta salads that are drenched in oil or vinegar, so for this recipe I fashioned what is basically the easiest/laziest “dressing” on earth — Simply purée jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, add a dash of lemon, and you’re set! The sun-dried tomatoes blend into a wonderful consistency that’s simultaneously chunky, smooth, and just a touch oily, so it nicely clings to the pasta without drowning the other ingredients. And when combine the purée with the smoked mozzarella? YAS!

The smokiness of the mozz against the herbaceous purée is refreshing, comforting, and totally justifies eating seconds.

Easy Summer Harvest Pasta Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomato Purée & Smoked Mozzarella

Once you’ve fashioned the dressing and committed to the mozz you can mix and match your pasta with any number of gorgeous, summer-ready veggies, so get creative and do your thang. I happened to have mini heirloom tomatoes and a few ears of corn on hand, so I used those along with raw bell peppers and TONS of fresh basil — The more freshness, the better! I really loved the way my exact combination worked out, but feel free to experiment with eggplant, zucchini, sweet peas, green beans… whatever.

It’s your world, so mix it up as you see fit. xo

Easy Summer Harvest Pasta Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomato Purée & Smoked Mozzarella

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Pasta (any noodle is great!)
  • 12 oz Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil
  • 2 tbsps Lemon Juice
  • pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Ears of Corn, grilled
  • 3 Bell Peppers
  • 8 oz Mini Heirloom Tomatoes
  • 1 lb Smoked Mozzarella
  • a few handfuls Fresh Basil

Directions:

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil, then cook pasta as directed. Drain cooked noodles, then submerge in a cold-water bath until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, in food processor blend the sun-dried tomatoes until puréed. Add the lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste, then pulse a few more times to mix. Set aside.
  3. On large cutting board remove the kernels from the grilled corn, slice the bell peppers, quarter the tomatoes, cube the smoked mozzarella, and shred the basil.
  4. When ready, drain the noodles once more before combining with the sun-dried tomato puree, mixing well. Gently incorporate all other ingredients, then serve and/or refrigerate! This stays nice for 4-5 days in the fridge.

Easy Summer Harvest Pasta Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomato Purée & Smoked Mozzarellaand ps? rigatoni and bow-tie noodles are great here, too.

Easy Summer Harvest Pasta Salad w/ Sun-dried Tomato Purée & Smoked Mozzarella