I started making this pasta salad more than 10 years ago and I still enjoy it today. I have made it recently for wedding showers since a makes a great addition to spring and summer buffets. It is also great for a tea party affair if you want something a little more substantial for your friends to enjoy.
Want to add even more flavor to this salad? This is a meatless dish, but you can add 2 -3 cups of shredded cooked chicken and it can be more of a main dish. If you have the time I suggest you make your own pesto with arugula and basil since it adds extra flavor to the dish, however if you are short on time just use store bought pesto. There are some delicious ones out there. You can also grill the corn and roast the tomatoes before adding them to the salad. Below I have provided the basic recipe, but feel free to bump up the flavor with one of these other ideas.
Serves 8 as side dish and 4 as main dish
1 box of Bow-tie pasta
2 ears of Corn, husked (use frozen if out of season)
1 1/2 cups of Grape tomatoes, chopped
3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Pesto
1/4 cup Pine nuts (optional)
Fresh Basil leaves for garnish
Cook pasta according to the package directions. Cook one minute less then suggested on the box. Once it's done, drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
You can cook your corn in one of two ways or even serve it raw. Option 1 is to throw the ears on the grill for about 5 minutes per side then cut it off the cob. Option 2 is to cut the corn off the cob and throw it in a hot skillet with olive oil and salt until just cooked through. This will take 5-10 minutes.
If you are using pine nuts, toast them in a pan over medium heat until they just become fragrant.
In a small bowl combine balsamic vinegar, water, olive oil, pesto and season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
In a large bowl combine pasta, corn, tomatoes, pine nuts and a couple tablespoons of Parmesan. Top with dressing and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Top with more Parmesan and fresh basil leaves. If you want you can cover and chill it for 2 to 24 hours. If you are going to chill don't garnish until just before serving.