Pasta with Tomatoes, Black Olives and Mozzarella

Italian, Main Courses, Meatless, Pasta / Thursday, July 9th, 2009


The first time I ever made pasta salad, I used a packaged kit. The one with the baggie of dehydrated vegetables that look like the grit that collects under your forks and spoons in the silverware tray.

Suddenly, I understood why they were so generous with the dressing.

I wish I’d known then that in the same 10 to 15 minutes it takes to boil one of those kits, I could have thrown together Ina Garten’s Pasta with Tomatoes, Black Olives and Mozzarella.

While the pasta was boiling, I could have been at the food processor, whipping up the sun-dried tomato dressing, which gets a nice zing from the tomatoes, red wine vinegar and capers.

Instead of sitting down to shells and vegetable remnants, I could have spooned out this bowl of fusilli tossed with ripe tomatoes, black olives, diced mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes and topped with grated Parmesan and fresh basil.

I want those 15 minutes back.

Pasta with Tomatoes, Black Olives and Mozzarella

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Family Style”

Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
  • 3/4 cup black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  2. For the Dressing: Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.
  3. Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.


14 thoughts on “Pasta with Tomatoes, Black Olives and Mozzarella

  1. I know exactly what you mean! The boxed stuff is ok, but it's really such junk food. Ina's stuff is the real-deal!

  2. Gotta tell you while I have bought a bag or two (Bertolli) my kids always call me out on it. With such a quick & easy pasta dish like the one you've just given I have no excuse not to make it for them!

  3. I've never even heard of boxed pasta salad and your description of the veggies make me glad I haven't! I loved this too. The flavor of the dressing was fantastic. I substituted balsamic for the red wine. Yummy.

  4. I remember those boxed pasta salad kits! I thought I loved them…what was I thinking??

    Your pasta looks great! I just love your blog Rebecca, it makes me so hungry! Going to eat some cherries now…lol.

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