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Italian Pasta Toss with Fresh Mozzarella

Serves 8

Looking for a fast and healthy dish that you can throw together in the time it takes to boil a box of noodles? This hearty pasta salad is big on flavor and nutrients. Loaded with whole grains, low-fat protein, good fats and vitamin C, it works equally well as a main course or side dish with chicken or fish.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound whole wheat pasta, such as penne or farfalle
2 tablespoons olive oil
30-40 grape or cherry tomatoes
8 ounces mini-mozzarella balls
½ cup pitted black olives, drained
2 tablespoons fresh basil, lightly chopped

DRESSING

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove fresh garlic, smashed
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the pasta al dente style, according to package directions. Rinse and drain well. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then set aside to cool. In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together all dressing ingredients. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella balls and olives to the cooled pasta, then toss with the dressing. Let stand for 15 minutes, garnish with fresh basil and serve.