Margarita Pasta Salad: An Old Standby

Margarita Pasta Salad from Brittany's Pantry - A great, crowd pleasing side to go with any dish!Don’t you just love those recipes that you make over and over and they never fail you?  No matter how many times you make it, it always turns out and everybody always loves it.  For my neighbor, its chocolate chip cookies.  She makes one of the best I have ever had and is famous for them.  With my mother-in-law its Keebler Cracker Bars.  My best friend, a Mississippi gal, makes a sweet potato casserole that seems to taste better out of her oven than mine.  This may be attributed to some kind of southern woman secret I am not privy to but whatever the case, we all have them.  I have several in fact.  Many of which, I don’t doubt, will grace this page with reliability and the sureness of success for all who try them.

Today I went to a BBQ and was told to bring a side salad.  My immediate elation at being able to share food with others was tempered by the lack of specifics.  Lettuce, coleslaw, pasta, potato, fruit, vegetable?  You may think I am obsessing, but these are the things that keep me up at night.  I like variety and I didn’t want to be the third person at the party who brought potato salad.  Solution?  A pasta salad that everyone likes, that parents could cut up and feed to the babies that I knew would be present, and most importantly, that I had the time and ingredients to make.  A pasta version of a Margarita pizza, it has only a few basic ingredients.  Add what you like and enjoy.  Leftovers make a great lunch.

Margarita Pasta Salad from Brittany's Pantry - A great, crowd pleasing side to go with any dish! Margarita Pasta Salad

1 lb small shaped pasta, such as bow tie, ditalini, rigatoni, penne, shells etc.
1-8oz pkg, fresh mozzarella, cut into small, bite sized chunks
1/4 c chopped, fresh basil
2 c chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil just until moistened.  Gently add the other ing.  Chill or serve room temp.  Can be made several hours ahead of time.
Note:  The measurements here are estimates.  Feel free to add more or less of whatever you like or don’t like.  Grilled chicken is a wonderful addition, as are freshly sniped chives.  The different colors of heirloom tomatoes look especially gorgeous.