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Caprese Pasta Salad

We love everything Caprese. Caprese means “of Capri,” as in Capri, the island off the coast of Italy. In its simplest salad form, Caprese consists of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. We use this combination in sandwiches, pasta salads, snack skewers, and even breakfast dishes like omelettes, scrambles and potato hash. This classic combination of ingredients capture the flavor of summer, and provides a great use for that bumper crop of tomatoes.

Serves 4

You will need:

2 cups uncooked pasta shapes (we use tubetti)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved as needed

1 pound fresh mozzarella (we prefer the mini”bocconcini” balls)

1/2 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s cook!

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a heaping tablespoon of sea salt. Then add the pasta. Follow the package directions, cooking the pasta to al dente (still a bit firm). Stir occasionally to avoid sticky pasta clumps.
  2. Mix a quick vinaigrette while your pasta cooks: just whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together with a pinch of salt.
  3. Once the pasta is drained, just mix everything into a big bowl and you’re done. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. This dish is best savored at room temperature, but you could also enjoy it slightly chilled.

Make ahead

Toss everything together, except for the vinaigrette and basil and refrigerate. Add the basil and vinaigrette, and season before serving.

Pasta water magic

Save a bit of the water from cooking the pasta. You can add it to your final dish if it’s too dry. It will instantly be saucier!

Make your own Caprese pasta salad with this simple recipe (link to PDF).

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