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Mozzarella Pasta Salad

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Ingredients:

– 1 cup olive oil – 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp. dried basil – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes – 8 1-oz. Real California string cheese sticks, cut into 1/2-in. pieces – 1 lb. fiore pasta (see note) – 2 Roma-style tomatoes, diced – 1/2 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped or torn – 1/2 cup sliced scallions (green parts only)

Directions:

Serves 8

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, basil, and red pepper flakes. Add the cheese and toss to coat. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside to cool.

Add the tomatoes, olives, scallions, and marinated cheese to the bowl with the pasta and toss well. Refrigerate until chilled.

Note:

Fiore is a shape of pasta that looks like a flower (fiore is Italian for “flower”). If you can’t find it, substitute wagon wheels, penne, fusilli, or another favorite shape.

By CE D. from Hemet, California

I love the marinated mozzarella balls from the store, but the kids thought they were a funny texture. So I learned to marinate the string cheese because it is kid friendly and easily recognized to them. They LOVE this salad!

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