Full of fragrant basil, juicy sweet tomatoes, garlicky pesto, and creamy fresh mozzarella, Pasta Caprese with Pesto, Cherry Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella is bursting with fresh summer flavors.
Pasta Caprese is a twist on Insalata Caprese, a simple Italian salad of sliced ripe tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil that has been drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt.
Curly cavatappi is tossed with a fresh basil pesto, juicy sweet cherry tomatoes, and creamy bocconcini - tiny fresh mozzarella balls. A little balsamic vinegar is added to liven things up, then more fresh pesto is drizzled on top. Garnish with ribbons of fresh basil, or save the tiniest leaves before making pesto.
Pasta Caprese is equally delicious served warm or chilled, as a pasta salad.
- 1 lb cavatappi or other shaped pasta (454 g)
- ½ cup fresh basil pesto(about 4.5 oz, 128g) or to taste, (click here for recipe)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons basalmic vinegar
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes, cut in half (454g)
- 8 oz bocconcini mozzarella balls (227g)
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or cut in ribbons
- salt to taste
- Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente, firm to the bite. Drain.
- If serving cold, rinse under cool water and drain. If serving warm, proceed to the next step.
- Combine the pesto, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Toss with pasta until thoroughly mixed.
- Gently toss in the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Drizzle with additional pesto, if desired.
- Serve immediately or chill to serve cold as a pasta salad.
Be careful not to use too much balsamic vinegar or it will darken the color of the sauce.