Labor Day Pasta Salad

         Yield: 8 Servings
Categories: Salad, Pasta, Vegetarian

By The Associated Press For Labor Day, serve pasta with a no-cook sauce. Made with a few simple in- gredients, including toma- toes, blue cheese and fi-esh basil, the following recipe is both easy and inexpensive to prepare. : Labor Day Pasta Salad 12 dpe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), quartered, or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halves 2 cups (lighty packed) whole fresh basil leaves 2 ounces finely crumbled blue cheese 2 tablespoons olive or veg- etable oil 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar Salt and pepper, to taste 1 pound penne, mostaccioli or other medium-shaped pasta, uncooked Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with the basil leaves, blue cheese, oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate and let marinate for 45 minutes to 24 hours. Just before serving, cook the pasta according to package di- rections; drain thoroughly. Transfer the pasta to a mixing bowl while still warm. Add the to- mato mixture and toss to mix. Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serv- ing. Note: Use the smallest leaves of the basil for this recipe. If the leaves are longer than 1 inch, tear them in half crosswse be- fore adding to the tomato mix- ture. Option: Grill 8 to 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cool 5 minutes after cooking, then cut into thin strips. Toss chicken while stil warm with the pasta salad. Serve im- mediately.