Spaghetti with Pesto and Tomato-Mozzarella Salad


1pound(s) thin spaghetti, substitute linguine
1bunch(es) (large) fresh basil
1clove(s) (small) garlic
¼cup(s) olive oil
1tablespoon(s) olive oil
½teaspoon(s) salt
¼teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
½cup(s) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1.5pint(s) red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1tablespoon(s) red wine vinegar
8ounce(s) fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ¾-inch cubes


Heat large saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add spaghetti and cook as label directs. Meanwhile, reserve 12 small basil leaves for garnish. From remaining basil, remove enough leaves to equal 2 cups firmly packed. In food processor with knife blade attached, process basil leaves, garlic, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until pureed, stopping processor and scraping bowl occasionally. Add Parmesan; pulse to combine. Set pesto aside. In bowl, mix tomatoes, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently stir in mozzarella. Drain spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup spaghetti cooking water. Return spaghetti and reserved cooking water to saucepot; add pesto and toss well to coat pasta. Spoon spaghetti mixture into large shallow bowl; top with tomato-mozzarella salad. Garnish with reserved basil leaves.