This Caprese Pasta Salad is a delightful fusion of the classic Caprese flavours—juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil—combined with pasta for a heartier dish. The balsamic dressing adds a tangy and slightly sweet note that complements the ingredients perfectly. Enjoy the harmony of flavours in this simple yet impressive pasta salad!
For the Salad:
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 8 ounces pasta (such as fusilli, penne, or farfalle)
- Salt for pasta water
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1 – Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to cool it down. Set aside.
Step 2 – Prepare the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to create the dressing. Set aside.
Step 3 – Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, cubed fresh mozzarella, and torn fresh basil leaves.
Step 4 – Add the Dressing: Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad ingredients. Gently toss the salad to ensure all the components are coated with the flavourful dressing.
Step 5 – Chill and Serve: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the Caprese Pasta Salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together.
Step 6 – Garnish and Enjoy: Before serving, give the salad a final toss. If desired, you can garnish the salad with additional fresh basil leaves or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavour.
Step 7 – Serve: Caprese Pasta Salad is perfect as a refreshing side dish for picnics, barbecues, potlucks, or as a light and satisfying main course for lunch or dinner.