1 lb gemelli or penne
2 3/4 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
5 to 6 oz soft mild goat cheese, crumbled
2/3 cup coarsely chopped Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives
3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Cook pasta in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until just tender, then drain.
While pasta is cooking, toss tomatoes with salt to taste in a bowl and let juices exude.
Toss hot pasta with goat cheese in a large bowl until cheese is melted and coats pasta. Add tomatoes with juices, olives, basil, and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.
Cooks' notes:•To prevent basil leaves from discoloring, don't tear them until just before pasta is done.
For an especially vibrant presentation, use cherry tomatoes in a variety of shapes and colors