- 1/2 cup halved and pitted black olives
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes (about 6), chopped
- 3/4 pound salted fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups chopped fresh basil
- In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes with the mozzarella, basil, olives, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain, add to the tomato mixture, and toss.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour the oil over the pasta and toss again.
Variations Add some drained capers, chopped red onion, or grated Parmesan to the pasta.
Valpolicella, the crisp, fruity, cherry-scented wine from the shores of Lake Garda in the Veneto, is the perfect hot-weather wine for tomato-and-herb-based dishes. Try one here for a delightful accompaniment.