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Warm Herbed Macaroni and Mozzarella Salad

Serves:
4 - 6

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: <15 minutes

Description

Pasta is one of the world's most available comfort foods. Add savory herbs and mozzarella cheese, and now you've got something simple, but special and tasty. This is on the table in the time it takes to boil the noodles. I personally was not impressed with the vinaigrette in this recipe, so I have provided an alternate in case you choose not to use it. If you don't want to use gluten-free noodles, obviously you do not have to! This is a great meal if you're going meatless one night a week. Serve with garlic bread and a good quality red wine if you're going for something a little more special. I also strongly recommend doubling this recipe - 8 oz. of pasta really is not going to be enough to serve 4 people as a main course.

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

OR

  • Any good quality bottled Italian dressing of your choice

Salad

  • 8 oz. (2 cups) gluten-free/low carb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) reduced fat (made with 2% milk) shredded mozzarella

Directions

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside. If you're using a bottled dressing, follow the instructions below.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain the macaroni and transfer it to a medium serving bowl. Add the basil and half of the dressing**. If using bottled dressing, add enough to moisten the macaroni - you don't want it swimming in dressing. Stir to combine thoroughly. Let the pasta sit for a minute or so to cool slightly. Add the mozzarella and the remaining dressing**. Again, if using a bottled dressing, add enough to moisten the salad a bit more - you can easily eyeball this.

Stir very well to combine and to make sure the cheese is all melted. It will be VERY gooey and stringy - this is the nature of mozzarella, so don't worry if it appears very stringy. Serve immediately with sides of your choice.

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