Since we can’t travel to Italy, Tuscan Women Cook, the week-long culinary immersion vacation in Tuscany, brings Italy to you.
Who wouldn’t love to sit in the sun at an outdoor café in Italy sipping a chilled glass of wine and eating a favorite Italian meal? Unfortunately, we can’t travel to Italy yet and many of us are still staying close to home. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create a bit of Italy ourselves. Coleen Kirnan and Rhonda Vilardo, the owners, and hosts of Tuscan Women Cook, the unique and popular culinary vacation located in the heart of Tuscany, want to bring a bit of Italy to home kitchens during this pandemic. Tuscan Women Cook is about celebrating the food and culture of the Tuscan region of Italy ensconced in the charming village of Montefollonico.
A favorite summer meal is Pasta Fredda. Pasta Fredda, “cold pasta” or “pasta salad”, is the perfect pasta dish for spring or summer, although it can be served year-round. It is generally served chilled or at room temperature and is a popular dish throughout Italy for warm weather picnics and buffets. Tuscan Women Cook has prepared the recipe using just five ingredients plus the pasta. Feel free to add your own ingredients—vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, poultry, and cheeses such as Parmesan and feta.
- 1 package (8 ounces) short pasta, such as farfalle or tubetti *
- 20 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 7 ounces bocconcini (small balls of mozzarella cheese), or any size fresh mozzarella cut into 1.5-inch pieces
- ¾ cup black olives, pitted and cut in half
- 6 or more fresh basil leaves, torn into two or three pieces
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
- Cook the pasta following the box instructions for the time, or until al dente.
- Drain and cool to room temperature.
- Combine chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a large serving bowl.
- Add the pasta to the tomato mixture, combine, and drizzle with olive oil to taste.
* If you have small amounts of different shaped pasta in your pantry, combine them for a unique presentation.
Arianna Moldovan, from Tuscan Women Cook, shows you how to prepare Pasta Fredda: