Pasta Caprese is a flavorful, light dinner recipe perfect for weeknights! Quick & easy meatless meal with fantastic fresh flavors from the tomatoes, mozzarella & basil!
This easy pasta dish is perfect for weeknight dinners or to entertain guests, it comes together easily and is absolutely delectable! Making this caprese pasta is simple, with basic ingredients it comes together quickly and is a wonderful filling meal.
Easy Pasta Caprese
This recipe has been in our family for years and years! It is easy to make and perfect for this time of the year when your gardens are overflowing with fresh tomatoes. The flavors are subtle, wonderful and light. The melted cheese ensures that each bite is as cheesy as the last.
Because we use a short pasta, the sauce can coat every piece well. This is one family dinner you won’t soon forget. You will love how easy it is to prepare too. This creamy pasta dish never lasts for long, serve it up for dinner and watch how fast it disappears.
Pasta Caprese Ingredients
Pasta: You will need 1 pound of pasta, just about any will work well- bow ties, penne, etc.
Tomatoes: For a wonderful fresh, tart taste, use 5 large fresh tomatoes.
Olive oil: You need ½ cup olive oil to give this dish wonderful flavor and consistency.
Balsamic vinegar: Add in 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar for an amazing rich and complex flavor.
Garlic: Use 2 cloves of garlic, minced, for a great addition of flavor to this dish.
Basil leaves: Adding in 15-20 fresh basil leaves, sliced, will give this dish amazing taste.
Mozzarella cheese: You need 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese (rounds or diced) for lots of cheesy goodness.
Parmesan cheese: For even more amazing flavor, add in ½ cup of parmesan cheese.
Salt & pepper: Add in both salt and pepper depending on your taste.
Red pepper: Using 1 dash of red pepper flakes kicks the spice up in this dish.
Step by step on how to make Pasta Caprese
Begin by dicing the tomatoes and setting them in a colander for 5-10 minutes, letting most of the liquid drain out.
Next, mince the garlic cloves and slice the basil leaves into small pieces.
Then, transfer the drained tomatoes to a small bowl and add in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, let that mixture sit so that flavors develop while you prepare the pasta.
Now get the pasta cooking according to directions on the package directions, drain and return the cooked pasted to the warm pot.
Proceed to pour the tomato mixture into the pot with the pasta, then add in the mozzarella cheese and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and let it sit for about 5 minutes for the cheeses to melt.
Serve immediately, top with additional parmesan and enjoy!
HOW TO COOK PASTA PERFECTLY EVERY TIME
Pasta is pretty simple to cook, but there are a few little tricks to making sure it turns out perfect every time!
- Make sure you use a large enough pot to boil your noodles in. If it is too small, you may find that your noodles stick together and you may run out of water before the noodles are completely cooked. To cook one pound of pasta, you should be using at least 4-6 quarts of water. Make sure your pot is big enough to hold the water and the pasta and be able to boil without boiling over. Remember, pasta expands as it cooks!
- Add some salt to the water. Adding salt increases the boiling point of the water, meaning that the water will boil faster and also helps the pasta cook a little bit faster too! I usually add about a tablespoon of salt.
- Test the pasta. Even though there are recommended cooking times for each type of pasta, the only fool-proof method I have found to make sure pasta is done perfectly is to taste test it! About a minute before the recommended cooing time, I use a slotted spoon to get a noodle out of the pot. Rinse with cold water to avoid burning your tongue! If it is still a little crunchy, let it boil another minute or two before testing again.
- Drain the pasta well and rinse with cold water immediately. The cold water will prevent the pasta from continuing to cook and will also prevent the noodles from sticking together.
- 1 lb pasta bow ties, penne, shells, etc.
- 5 large tomatoes
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 15-20 fresh basil leaves sliced
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella rounds or diced
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- dash of red pepper flakes
- Begin by dicing the tomatoes and setting them in a colander for 5-10 minutes, letting most of the liquid drain out.
- Next, mince the garlic cloves and slice the basil leaves into small pieces.
- Transfer the drained tomatoes to a small bowl and add in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, basil leaves, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, let that mixture sit so that flavors develop while you prepare the pasta.
- Cook the pasta according to directions on the package. Drain and return the cooked pasta to the warm pot.
- Pour the tomato mixture into the pot with the pasta, then add in the mozzarella cheese and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and let it sit for about 5 minutes for the cheeses to melt.
- Serve immediately, top with additional parmesan and enjoy!
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HOW LONG IS THIS CAPRESE PASTA GOOD FOR?
You can keep the leftovers from this pasta dish in an airtight or well covered container for up to 3 days in the fridge or for up to 3 months if stored in the freezer.
CAN I MAKE THIS PASTA CAPRESE RECIPE AHEAD?
Yes, you can prepare the recipe as directed above and then place it into a foil covered casserole dish. If desired you can even sprinkle another 1 cup of cheese on top to make it into a casserole. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 25 minutes to heat it up when you are ready to eat.
Can I freeze this Caprese Pasta?
Pasta is a great dish to make a double batch of and freeze some for later. Make sure to let the pasta cool completely before transferring it to a zip locked bag or freezer safe container. This pasta dish will last up to 3 months in the freezer. When you are ready to enjoy, defrost it overnight in the fridge then just microwave it for 1-2 minutes to reheat.
If you loved this pasta dish, try more amazing recipes here!
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- Pasta Caprese
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Pasta Caprese is a wonderful light and refreshing dish that is great for any night of the week! There are so many fantastic flavors in this easy-to-make meatless pasta recipe!