Caprese Pasta Salad

caprese pasta salad

I’ve been too caught up in newborn/toddlerland to post for the past few weeks, but I’ve finally decided to hop back on the blogging train.  I haven’t been cooking too much lately as we’ve also been fortunate to have had a lot of meals brought to us each evening.  Baby N is pretty relaxed during the day, but things get a bit chaotic around dinnertime each night with him and T.  Yesterday, I had big plans to make this caprese pasta salad right after lunch today while both boys were sleeping.  However, T fought his nap big time, N woke up earlier than expected, and I spent any downtime I had trying to make our house look a little less like a scene from Hoarders.

I finally got a chance to start making this caprese pasta salad around 5 last night, but didn’t get a chance to start taking photos until 7 and I was losing natural light fast.  Baby N was a bit fussy so I had him in the Moby wrap while I was photographing.  Hence, these are not the most stylized or perfectly lit/focused photos.  But, I promise what my photos lack, this recipe makes up for in taste!

caprese pasta salad

This recipe combines two of my favorite types of summer salads: a good pasta salad made with fusilli and a caprese salad.  I love the bright flavor that the white balsamic vinegar brings to this recipe as well.  While I was making it, I was a bit concerned about using a half a cup of vinegar, but I think this is the ingredient that really makes this recipe shine.  This caprese pasta salad would be a delicious summer dish on its own or served on a side with a piece of grilled chicken or steak.

Caprese Pasta Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped into bite size pieces (you could also use small mozzarella balls)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, chopped (I used a combination of the two)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a separate bowl Once water is boiling, blanche basil leaves for 30 seconds. Once they turn bright green, use a slotted spoon to add them to the ice bath. Drain well, squeezing out any excess liquid. Add basil to the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Using the same pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water until cool. Add drained pasta to a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, in the food processor, add the vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper to the basil. Process for a few seconds. Continue to process and drizzle in the olive oil slowly through the top of the food processor until fully combined.
  4. Pour dressing over the top of the pasta. Add mozzarella, tomatoes, and capers. Stir together all ingredients until fully combines. Can be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 3 days.

 Source: Slightly adapted from Love and Olive Oil

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P.S. Happy, happy birthday to my favorite co‐blogger of all time!  That glass of rosé is for you!

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