Caprese Pasta Salad
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 to 4
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Italian
A simple Caprese pasta salad with a twist. Cook cherry tomatoes with olive oil for a few minutes and they create their own pasta sauce.
- 6 ounces whole grain fusilli or rotini pasta
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 ounces baby mozzarella balls (ciliegine), or one mozzarella ball
- Several sprigs fresh basil (enough for 2 tablespoons chopped)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, warm the olive oil in a large, non-reactive, heavy-bottomed pot or pan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the tomatoes have started to burst out of their skins and the olive oil has a light red hue (about 5 to 8 minutes). Toss the tomatoes and their sauce with the cooked pasta. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes while you slice the mini mozzarella balls in half (if you’re using a large mozzarella ball, tear it into little pieces) and chop the basil into short little strips.
- Toss the mozzarella balls and basil into the pasta. Add the vinegar and salt to taste, and serve. This salad will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. Leftovers are great chilled or at room temperature. You can also reheat the pasta if you don’t mind the mozzarella melting (yum).
Make it gluten free: Use your favorite gluten-free noodles.
Recommended equipment: An enameled cast iron Dutch oven is the perfect cooking pot for the cherry tomatoes (it’s also great for cooking pasta and soups/stews, and it will last forever).