Elegant tomato pasta salad.

I had a big bag of really sweet and juicy homegrown tomatoes, and found a really yummy way to use some of them. The salad has a hint of balsamic vinegar and garlic to pep it up. Try fun-shaped pasta in this salad to up the fun.

Peppy Pasta Salad

You will need:

12 oz. pasta (I used penne), prepared according to package directions
1 clove garlic, minced or smashed
1 T balsamic vinegar (the cheap stuff is good)
1 T olive oil
1 t dried basil leaves
2 lg. tomato, diced
1/2 can black olives, smashed with your fingers
salt & pepper, to taste
shredded parmesan cheese or other flavorful cheese (optional, but really good)

Combine garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl or serving dish. Add handfulls of pasta to your mixture, until desired ratio is achieved. Season salad with salt and pepper (to taste), and top with cheese. Eat, and enjoy.

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