All of the classic flavors of Caprese salad combined with your favorite pasta to make this delicious Caprese Pasta Salad!
I hope you had a fun Memorial Day weekend! My baby sister got married in Cleveland. It was the perfect weekend and she made the most beautiful bride. This is the venue that she got married at in Akron, Ohio. Just beautiful.
I can’t believe how fast time flies and the fact that my little sister is married. It was perfect weather to share in her special day!
Caprese Pasta Salad
I haven’t done a post for our trip to Italy yet but while in Italy there were two things we couldn’t get enough of—bruschetta and caprese salad. Those seem like basic things we eat here in America but in Italy they taste so much fresher and so much better than here. I am sure the scenery helps a little too! 😉 Bruschetta in Italy is the perfect balance of crispy bread, garlic, fresh tomatoes and fresh olive oil with a little salt on top. My husband and I found a cute little happy hour spot in Florence where we would order a good bottle of Chianti Classico and eat bruschetta and people watched.
Now that I am home I am trying to perfect my bruschetta making skills so I can share a recipe with you all–even though I know it will never taste as good as it did there.
Caprese salad. This is something we eat a lot of in my house in the summer months. I always grow tomatoes and basil in my garden so it’s as easy as buying buffalo mozzarella and chopping everything up. A simple, delicious salad or side to a meal. In Italy the caprese was out of this world. It seemed like each restaurant did it differently whether it was drizzled with balsamic, on a bed of arugula or on little skewers, it was addictive. A good start to any meal!
This Caprese Pasta Salad came out my love for pasta salads and my love for caprese salad. The marriage of two great things that are easy to make and versatile. Pasta salads make great dishes to bring to a picnic or BBQ or to eat as a snack or have as lunches during a busy workweek.
I used farfalle pasta but feel free to use your favorite pasta or even whole wheat pasta. I used cherry tomatoes and quartered them but you could easily buy other varieties of tomatoes and chop them up. I suggest using fresh basil because the flavor and texture is much better for this salad then the dried stuff. As far as the dressing I did a crushed red pepper and garlic infused olive oil but you could also drizzle a little balsamic over the top or maybe some zesty Italian dressing.
Remember with pasta salads that the salad will soak up the dressing overnight so you may need to add more when you serve the salad. My husband actually isn’t a fan of pasta salads so he started heating this Caprese Pasta Salad up and turning it into a pasta dish for dinner. Can’t beat a dish that can be turned into a dinner within a few seconds.
- 1 lb. farfalle pasta (or pasta of your choice)
- 2 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella, diced (or you can buy the pearls)
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil (divided)
- 5 cloves of garlic, skin removed, crushed
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
- In a large mixing bowl toss the mozzarella and tomatoes with 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil. Cover and refrigerate.
- Cook pasta according to package.
- While pasta is cooking heat 1/4 cup olive oil on low in a large skillet and add garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook on low for 10 minutes stirring to allow the garlic to soften (but not brown).
- Once the pasta is done cooking drain and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process.
- Add the pasta to the crushed red pepper olive oil mixture and mix well.
- Place the pasta mixture into a large mixing bowl and let cool.
- Once the pasta cools off add it to the cheese and tomato mixture. Add Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.