Tomato, Basil and Pasta Salad


The trick is to use a lot of the best tomatoes you can find.  Another tip is to salt the tomatoes to drain off much of their water before stirring them with the pasta and risk making the salad soggy.


3 pounds tomatoes, peeled

about 30 leaves basil

1 Tablespoon coarse salt

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pound pasta (elbow or penne is nice)

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze the seeds out of each half.  Coarsely chop the tomatoes and toss with the salt.  Put the mixture in a colander set over a bowl to drain.  Allow to drain until ready to toss the salad, but at least 30 minutes. 


Cook pasta until al dente; drain.  Immediately toss the hot pasta in a mixing bowl with the olive oil.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes.  Just before serving, stir in the drained tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.