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Pasta salad in a bowl.
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Summer fusilli pasta salad

Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Keyword fusilli pasta salad, pasta salad
Prep Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 500kcal
Author Victor

Ingredients

For the fusilli pasta

  • 1 lb fusilli pasta uncooked
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 1 lb eggplant
  • 1/2 lb red onion
  • 2 lbs tomatoes
  • 16 basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic minced or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt

For the white balsamic vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

To prepare the white balsamic dressing

  • Add the vinaigrette ingredients to a medium bowl, whisk and set aside.

To prepare the fusilli pasta salad

  • Cut the mozzarella into strips and set aside.
    Cutting mozzarella
  • Wash and peel the eggplant, cut it into sticks, sprinkle a pinch of salt, toss and set aside for 20 minutes.
    Cutting eggplant
  • Roll 8 basil leaves into a cigar and slice about 1/8" thick. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, peel the red onion, cut it into wedges and separate the layers.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add the eggplant sticks with the garlic and fry over medium to medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the eggplant and set them aside.
    Frying eggplant
  • In the same skillet, fry the onion wedges with a drizzle of oil for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
    Frying red onion
  • Cut the tomatoes. Slice large tomatoes half-inch thick then quarter them. Cut medium tomatoes into wedges. Cut smaller tomatoes in halves. Leave small cherry tomatoes whole. Set aside.
  • Cook the fusilli pasta al dente in boiling water with a pinch of salt, drain, transfer to a large platter, spread around and let cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, combine the pasta, tomatoes, eggplant, red onion, mozzarella, sliced basil and about 3/4 of the dressing.
  • Transfer to individual serving bowls, garnish with 1-2 whole basil leaves and drizzle with the remaining white balsamic vinaigrette. Serve right away.

Notes

If making this pasta salad ahead, keep the prepared ingredients, separated or mixed together at room temperature for up to 4-6 hours. Do not refrigerate as that will ruin the texture and the flavor of the tomatoes.
If making a day ahead, you can refrigerate the prepared ingredients with the exception of the tomatoes. Remove the ingredients about an hour before serving to bring to room temperature and cut and add the tomatoes just before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 342mg | Potassium: 602mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1193IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 2mg