Lidia’s Kitchen – Pasta Salad with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Green Beans


Pasta Salad with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Green Beans

Insalata di Cavatappi, Mozzarella, Pomodori, e Fagiolini

Serves 6 to 8

This dish is great for buffets, picnics, and large family gatherings. My daughter, Tanya, is the expert pasta-salad maker in my family. The recipe is easy to multiply, it keeps well, and it’s economical. This pasta can be dressed several hours ahead, but hold about half of the dress- ing to toss in at the last minute, since the pasta will have absorbed much of the first batch.


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for boiling and to taste
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 pound cavatappi or elbows
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 pound small mozzarella balls (bocconcini), halved if on the larger side
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
  • ½ cup toasted skinned almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the green beans, and cook until tender, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove with a spider to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain, pat dry, and cut into thirds.
Add the pasta to the same water, and cook until al dente. Drain, rinse, and pat dry. Put in a large bowl, and add the green beans, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella.

For the dressing, in a mini–food processor (or a bowl, if you’re working by hand), combine the basil, parsley, plum tomatoes, almonds, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Process until smooth. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream to make a creamy dressing. Pour the dressing over the pasta, and toss well. Season with salt if necessary, and serve.