Summer Caprese Pasta Salad

A cool caprese pasta salad makes a great backyard side with fresh basil and summer tomatoes.

Summer Caprese Pasta Salad

If you’re looking for a simple, fresh side dish for your barbecue… look no further. I’ve got you covered with this scrumptious Caprese Pasta Salad! This takes just minutes to throw together and it’s a total crowd-pleaser. Let’s get cookin’!

My mom makes this kind of pasta every year as soon as it gets warm, except she adds in olives, too, and calls it Pasta Fresca. While that pasta salad is definitely delicious, I decided to take inspiration from the classic Caprese combination of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil for this dish.

Cheese and tomatoes, in my opinion, are kind of the perfect foolproof combination. Pizza? That’s cheese and tomatoes on a crust. Pasta? Usually topped with tomato sauce and cheese. Fried mozzarella and marinara sauce? I don’t even need to explain that.

Summer's Caprese Pasta Salad
 
A cool caprese pasta salad makes a great backyard side with fresh basil and summer tomatoes.
Author:
Recipe Type: Side, Primi, Pasta
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 box medium-sized pasta {I used Cellentani}
  • 1 pint baby tomatoes
  • 1 container fresh mozzarella cheese
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil {more or less as needed}
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, and italian seasoning to taste
Instructions
  1. First, boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta cooks, rinse your baby tomatoes and slice them in half. Place them in a large bowl.
  3. Drain the fresh mozzarella, slice into small cubes, and add to the large bowl with the tomatoes.
  4. Finally, using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the basil leaves into small ribbons, adding them into the bowl.
  5. Toss the toppings together with about 3 tbsp of the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and italian seasoning.
  6. Once the pasta is done cooking, drain the water, and add in the remaining tablespoon of oil. Allow the pasta to come to room temperature.
  7. When ready, add the pasta into the bowl with the tomatoes and cheese, and toss everything together. Add more oil and/or spices if needed.
  8. Serve immediately, or chill for 30 minutes for a fresher dish. Store leftovers in the fridge.
 

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