4-1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 box (1-pound) farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1 pint (or 1 whole clamshell) cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup basil leaves, packed
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1-1/2 cups part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
balls of fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)
In a stockpot, combine water, olive oil, pasta, halved tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cook over high heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 11 to 12 minutes, or until pasta is thoroughly cooked and water reduced. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and let stand 2 minutes.
Stir in shredded mozzarella cheese; stir until thoroughly combined.
Taste for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
Garnish with balls of fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves.