A lot of you are probably familiar with the basic pizza margherita, named after Queen Margherita of Italy. The colors of the neopolitan pizza are in honor of the Italian flag: the green of the basil, the white of the mozzarella, and the red of the tomato sauce. This cold pasta salad is my version of those same basic colors and flavors, and unlike a whole pizza, you can toss it in the air and catch it in your mouth, even if you're not a Border Collie.
one box of whole-wheat farfalle, or whatever pasta you like
a couple handfuls of the basil and scallions, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 small bag of sun-dried tomatoes, cubed
1 drained container of ovoline, the pearl-shaped fresh mozzarella
1 large handful of pignoli, or pine nuts, toasted and tossed in a skillet first
Cook the pasta, rinse it and drain it. Combine all the other ingredients, then dress it: combine 1 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, the juice of one lemon, at least a tablespoon of salt, some pepper to taste, and about a tablespoon of sugar. Whisk that in a Pyrex or shake it in a container. Toss the pasta in it, and taste it. Add salt or pepper, or red pepper flakes, as I like to do. You can chill this a little, or serve it at room temperature, which I think is better.
I brought this to a housewarming party some time ago, and I think everyone liked it. The sun-dried tomatoes and the pignolis keep it from being bland (and the red pepper, if you add it.) It was pretty cost-effective, and you could have fed an army with the amount it made.