Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Salads are delicious and include the most simple and fresh ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar. I took the concept of the classic Italian salad and turned it into a pasta salad.

This dish makes for a great salad to bring to any family BBQ! If you’re making this for a large party, just take the below ingredients and double them.

Ingredients:

  • One 12 oz. Box of Bowtie Pasta
  • 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 TB EVOO (Olive Oil)
  • 2 TB Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp. Dried Oregano
  • ½ Cup Fresh Chopped Basil
  • 1 Cup Diced Fresh Mozzarella

Begin by prepping your tomatoes by washing them and cutting them in half. Place on a large baking sheet and add the fresh garlic, 1 TB of the EVOO and 1 TB of the balsamic. Then, add the salt, pepper and dried oregano.

Roast in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the tomatoes because you still want them to hold their shape when you toss them with the pasta. Make sure to toss the tomatoes in the middle of their cooking time, ensuring all sides are evenly cooked. While the tomatoes roast, boil the noodles.
Once the tomatoes are finished roasting, take them out of the oven to cool. As your noodles and tomatoes are cooling, prep your basil by making chiffonade ribbons, and dice up the mozzarella into bite-size pieces.

Now, in a large mixing bowl, toss the noodles with the tomatoes and fresh basil. In this step add the other 1 TB of EVOO and 1 TB of balsamic vinegar. This creates a dressing for the pasta salad. After, place the salad in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before adding the cheese. Be sure to leave some extra basil aside for garnishing.

After the salad has cooled, add the cheese and toss. It is best to ensure the noodles have cooled before adding the cheese. You want to avoid having the cheese melt in warm noodles.

Feel free to add the salad back into the fridge to cool even more before serving. Make sure to plate enough when serving because your guests will go in for seconds, even thirds!

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