Caprese Pasta Salad combines the yummy ingredients of a traditional Caprese Salad with pasta to create a more texture-rich and kid-friendly dish.
On our recent trip to Tuscany, we ate our weight in tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. I was living it up and loving every minute! While wine tasting one afternoon, we came across a neat store selling gourmet italian foods. A staple in the Italian diet is balsamic vinegar, and the really good quality kind. I discovered a Balsamic Cream that was super thick and syrup-y. What was even better? They came in tons of different flavors. I couldn’t control myself, I was giddy with excitement! I grabbed both a bottle of chili pepper flavored and truffle flavored balsamic cream. Oh me, oh my. I couldn’t wait to get home and try these with my dishes!
So this is where this pasta dish comes along. I have been making this as a main dish with chicken, or as a side dish for several years. It’s simple, pretty, and a hit with the whole family (even if the kiddos pick out the tomatoes). I added my truffle balsamic cream to this pasta salad, and it was absolutely fabulous! I know you’re probably thinking, “how am I going to find truffle balsamic cream without visiting Italy?” The truth is, you probably can’t. But……Trader Joe’s has a Balsamic cream that is really yummy and can be used to make this dish almost as good.
This simple pasta salad comes together with large roma tomatoes, fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella chunks, and a balsamic vinaigrette. This is such a crowd pleaser, and makes a great potluck or picnic dish.
You can make ahead, just wait to add the dressing until right before you serve. It can be served with warm pasta, room temperature, or cold. Just serve however it fits with your schedule!
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 12 oz fusilli pasta or your favorite pasta
- 2 cups chopped roma tomato chunks
- 1 cup fresh chopped basil
- 6 oz buffalo mozzarella cut into chunks
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic cream or balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Salt to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, set aside into a large bowl, and cool slightly.
Add tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Make sure the pasta is cooled off a tad or your cheese will melt. Toss ingredients with pasta.
If using balsamic vinegar instead of cream, whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard, and pepper. If using the cream, only mix oil, mustard, and pepper.
Coat the pasta with the dressing. If using cream, add it separately and mix the salad around.
Add salt to taste. Serve at room temperature or cold.