We’ve all been there: home late from work, church or sporting activity and there is no time to put a decent meal together.The easy thing to do would be to call for take-out or swing through the drive-thru, but if you keep a few things handy in the pantry you can always throw together a quick pasta dish.Tips for pasta on the fly: --Always keep and extra box or two of dry pasta on your shelf --Incorporate fresh vegetables that are just hanging around for you to use them --Keep a good olive oil on hand --Early in the week or on the weekend, roast a big batch of garlic while using the oven for something else --Keep long-lasting flavor boosters on hand: chipotle peppers, parmesan cheese, capers, olives --Grow your own fresh herbs so they are always handy --Store good canned tomatoes like San Marzano for a quick pasta base
This recipe has very few ingredients, and by keeping a few things on hand you will never have to settle for something you really don’t feel good about eating.
Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella & Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette Pasta SaladServes 4 to 6 as a side item
1 Pound Shell Pasta-cooked 1 minute under package instructions, drained and cooled1 Pint Grape Tomatoes-cut into quarters1 Pound Fresh Mozzarella-cut into pieces about the size of the quartered tomatoesTo Taste Kosher SaltTo Taste Black Pepper1 Recipe Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette-recipe belowTo Taste Parmesan Cheese-grated
Combine cooled and drained pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella and season to taste, stir well to incorporate.Add vinaigrette a little at a time to taste and store in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to serve and up to 3 days.Serve with extra vinaigrette on the side along with grated parmesan cheese.
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette:1/4 Cup Sushi vinegar, or Rice Wine Vinegar 1-2 Bulb Garlic-tips cut off, oiled, season, roasted in tin foil pouch, with a little water in oven at 325 degrees for 1 to 1 and half hours or until soft.1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard1 Tablespoons Sweet or Yellow Onion – chopped1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper1/2Teaspoon Kosher Salt1/2 Cup Canola OilIn a blender place the vinegar, roasted garlic, Dijon mustard, onion, salt, pepper and blend until smooth. While blender is running remove center piece of the lid and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.* Tip: add one bulb of garlic at first. After completing the dressing, taste, and if you prefer more of a roasted garlic taste add the second bulb, blend to combine.Taste and re-season if necessary. Use immediately or store in covered container in refrigerator.