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Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad

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This Caprese Pasta Salad has all the classic flavors. Fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced basil and mozzarella cheese tossed with a quick, easy and balsamic dressing. This recipe makes plenty, so bring it to your next gathering! Yields about 10 cups or 20 (1/2-cup) servings.
Course Salads
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword balsamic vinaigrette, basil, baslamic, cherry tomatoes, garden, mozzarella, orecchiette, pasta, salad, summer, Tomato
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
Total Time 36 mins
Servings 20 servings
Calories 139
Author Laurie McNamara

Ingredients

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • fine sea salt for salting water
  • 1 pint cherry tomato halved
  • 8 ounces pearl mozzarella drained (or an 8 ounce ball cut into small pieces)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

MAKE THE DRESSING:

  • In a jar, add garlic, salt and pepper, vinegar and oil. Shake to combine.

MAKE THE SALD:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. During this time I prep the dressing and tomatoes.
    Once boiling, add in a palm full of sea salt (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) to the water and add in the pasta. Follow the package directions, cooking the pasta as directed, stirring often to avoid the pasta sticking.
    Once cooked, drain, rinse with cold water and then drain again thoroughly.
  • In a large bowl, add the pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Pour in the dressing and toss well to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve immediately or chill up to 1 to 2 hours. See notes for making in advance.

Notes

TO MAKE IN ADVANCE:
Prepare pasta salad ingredients omitting the basil and dressing 1 day in advance and keep refrigerated. Once you're ready to serve or 1 to 2 hours prior to serving, slice and add the basil and pour in the dressing (and any salt and pepper if needed) and serve.
HOW LONG WILL THIS PASTA SALAD KEEP?
If stored in a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerated, this salad should last for 3 to 5 days!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg