Caprese Pasta Salad

Besides mangoes and melons, the other foods that scream summer for me are fresh basil and fresh tomatoes. Given that there are three grocery stores down the street from me, all owned by Italians, I’m always looking to incorporate their fresh mozzarella in as many recipes as I can. This one’s perfect for a summer afternoon.

The following recipe creates 3 servings:


  • 7 oz (220 grams) whole grain penne pasta (you can use regular pasta as well)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 3/4 tomatoes on the vine, cored and sliced into half-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced and roasted
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dried oregano, to taste, optional
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, optional


1. Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar (if using) and roasted garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Marinate at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain in a colander.

3. Add the pasta and mozzarella to the tomato mixture and toss. Stir in the basil, and season with oregano. Refrigerate, tossing occasionally, until serving. [Tip: Wait for the pasta to cool down completely before mixing in the mozzarella. Melted mozzarella is no good for this recipe]

Caprese pasta salad – Perfect for a summer afternoon!


So what are you favorite summer foods/recipes?


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