Tomato Basil Pasta Salad is a great recipe to use your fabulous vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh homemade salsa. This is a great, simple summer pasta salad, with a nice light blend of flavors.
FRESH basil is an absolute must in this salad! This is one of my summer favorite pasta salad dishes to make during the late summer when I have lots of fresh tomatoes in my garden. If I do not have any ripe tomatoes in my garden, it get them at my local Farmers’ Market.
- 6 to 7 medium-size fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced*
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno chille pepper, stems, ribs, & seeds removed, very finely diced**
- Coarse salt
- Juice of 1 lime
- Fresh basil leaves, rough chop
- 1/4 pound pasta of your choice (such as bowtie, corkscrew, penne, or rotini)
- Parmesan cheese, grated
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, chile pepper, salt, and lime juice. If your salsa mixture is too hot, add some additional chopped tomato. If not hot enough, carefully add a little more chile pepper. Let sit for 1 hour for the flavors to combine. NOTE: If too much tomato juice settles at the bottom, just pour some off before tossing with the pasta. Remember that the pasta will absorb juice as it sits.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Learn How To Cook Pasta Properly. When pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water; draining well before adding the tomato mixture.
Transfer drained pasta into a large serving bowl. Toss together pasta and the tomato mixture. Just before serving, toss in the basil leaves and sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the top.
Always serve pasta salads at room temperature so the flavors will really shine. If you must refrigerate the salad, make sure to return it to room temperature before serving
* How To Seed Tomatoes: Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Then use your fingers to scoop out the seeds. Give the tomato a gentle squeeze to remove any stragglers.
** How hot you make your salsa depends on the kind of chilies and the amount you use.