The perfect pasta salad for a picnic, barbecue, or an afternoon on the boat. This recipe is easy, quick and absolutely bursting with flavour.

For the Basil Dressing:
2 ounces fresh basil (1 really big handful)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional, but it adds a nice sweetness)
3/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes OR freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)

For the Pasta Salad:
1 pound farfalle pasta (or your pasta of choice)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
(1) 12 ounces container marinated mozzarella balls, removed from oil
2 ounces fresh basil, thinly sliced (1 really big handful)

For the Basil Dressing:
In a food processor or blender, combine the basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar (if using), salt, and pepper.

Pulse on high for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, or until smooth. Be sure to avoid large chunks. If there are, continue blending. Set aside.

For the Pasta Salad:
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat; bring to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes.

While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, prepare the vegetables. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half; thinly slice the basil and thinly slice the red onion; set aside. Remove the mozzarella balls from the oil and set aside.

When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it at once and quickly rinse it under cold water until cool, about 1 minute.

Place cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add dressing to pasta, then add the tomatoes, basil, onion, and mozzarella balls. Toss to combine.

Serve at once, or chill until needed.