Simplest Tomato, Corn, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Tomato, Mozzarella, Corn and Basil Pasta SaladOne of the things I need to constantly remind myself of, and relearn and relearn is the art of NOT adding one more thing to a recipe.  It’s often so tempting – there’s that jar of artichoke hearts!  There’s that leftover tapenade!  It’s not that these ingredients wouldn’t be welcome in the dish…it’s that the dish is just perfectly awesome without them.

There is no better time to re-establish this important rule of cooking than the middle of August.  Tomatoes.  Corn.  Basil.  Hard stop.  And so, I fought the urge to throw another half dozen ingredients into this pasta salad, contenting myself with some fresh mozzarella and a light balsamic olive oil dressing.  And oh, my dears, if this Tomato, Corn, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad isn’t summertime eating at its finest, I don’t know what is.

These tomatoes all exploded in my garden at the same time.

August tomatoes

Simplest Tomato, Corn, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad


  • 1 pound dried pasta, any chunky shape
  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 6 cups cubed ripe tomatoes
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (see Cooking Tip), roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Generously salt the water and return to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  During the last two minutes of cooking add the ears of corn.  When you drain the pasta, take out the ears of corn and let cool.  Quickly rinse the pasta in cool water to stop the cooking, drain well, and turn into a serving bowl.

2. Remove the corn from the cobs with a knife or a corn stripper.  Add the corn, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to the pasta.

3. In a small container combine the olive oil, roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and shake to combine.  Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss well to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings (be generous with the salt).  Serve at room temperature.

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, Corn and Mozzarella

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6 thoughts on “Simplest Tomato, Corn, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad”

  1. Jana Thompson says:

    What about the roasted garlic in this recipe??

    1. Katie Workman says:

      Hi, Jana,
      Look on the side of the recipe, and you’ll see directions for roasting the garlic cloves!

  2. Barbara says:

    Katie, when using a tablet (because that’s where my recipes live), those things “on the side” simply disappear. Like they never happened. Only ads exist on the right. I have looked for those extras in several of your recipes, but (sigh) they just aren’t happening. Maybe it is time for a tablet app, or a mobile version? I have a large tablet, too, so it isn’t a size issue. My Samsung Galaxy is 10.5″ wide. I’d double check for you using my PC but I have to replace the mother board.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      I am looking into this! some of the notes fell off when we just migrated to the new deign. stay tuned and so sorry!

  3. Anne says:

    I wanted to try this and saw the link for how to roast the garlic but didn’t see which step of the recipe to add it, do you mix it into the dressing or add with the tomatoes, corn and basil? I’m sure either will be good! Thanks!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      sorry Anne! Either would be good, but you can roughly chop it and add it to the dressing.

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