We love Caprese Salad. In the summer when the tomatoes and basil are abundant, we have one almost every night. With limited space for a garden, we decided to grow cherry tomatoes this year. The plants are thriving in our sandy soil. With plenty of tomatoes on hand, I wanted to adapt the flavors of Caprese Salad into a pasta dish. Using several cold Caprese Pasta Salad recipes as my inspiration, I created this pasta dish.
The tartness of the balsamic, acidity of the tomatoes and creaminess of the mozzarella make this a delicious fresh pasta dish, the perfect dinner for a hot summer night.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons minced shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
12 ounces uncooked pasta, such as penne or bow tie
12 fresh mozzarella cheese balls
1/3 cup chopped, fresh basil
Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain in a colander, reserving a small amount for the pasta sauce. Heat a large skillet to medium and toss the tomatoes and sauce until tomatoes are just slightly cooked. Add the pasta and mozzarella to the tomato mixture and toss. If you like, add the pasta water to the pan. Cook a few minutes until the mozzarella balls begin to soften or melt. Just prior to serving top with basil and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
I am linking this to On The Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday.