Caprese Pasta Salad

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I walked into my friend’s office today. I noticed that her officemate’s calendar was on September. I thought to myself, “That’s odd, it’s not September yet…” I proceeded to chat with my friend for a few minutes when I noticed that her calendar was on September too… and then I realized. It is September. Crazy!

Today felt so much like a Monday. I suppose Labor Day does that. Hopefully that means that on Friday it won’t feel like Friday and then I’ll be pleasantly surprised. I feel like some people come back from vacations refreshed and ready to get back to work. I always come back from vacations feeling like I need another vacation.

We had a Labor Day barbecue at James Madison Park yesterday. It was really nice. The park was right by the lake and the temperature finally cooled down. The last couple weeks have been gross and hot and humid, but yesterday was 70’s, dry and breezy.

There was so much food at the barbecue. A couple of the guys grilled burgers and hot dogs. There were a couple of different kinds of pasta, veggies, chips, and a bunch of desserts. A friend made these amazing peanut butter nutella cookies. So good. But dangerous! I was eating one and my friend made me laugh. I inhaled some of the cookie dust and started coughing up a lung.

I made a caprese pasta salad. It was a really simple recipe, but it was really good. I loooove fresh mozzarella. And thank you to my roommate for letting me use her olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

Recipe from Once Upon a Recipe

Ingredients
2 lbs uncooked pasta (I used rotini)
1 lb grape tomatoes
1 lb fresh mozzarella balls
3/4 cups olive oil
8-10 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
basil
salt
pepper

Cook pasta. Drain, rinse, and let cool.

Slowly heat the olive oil, garlic, and pepper flake over low heat for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors infuse. Let the oil cool.

Mix the pasta, oil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and mozzarella balls together. Add salt, pepper, and basil to taste. Mix well.

Refrigerate for several hours and serve cold.

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