It has been feeling like spring for most of the winter, so I’ve been craving colder dishes than I normally do this time of year. I’ve been making tuna salad, having summer sausage and cheese a lot, and eating lots of salads. So, when my friends at Carapelli asked me to create a simple recipe using their amazing Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I immediately thought to make a Caprese Pasta Salad.
What is a Caprese Pasta Salad? A Caprese Salad is a simple Italian dish made of just three ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. It is typically drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper.
This simple trio of ingredients is just so good! So I’ve just taken the basic Caprese Salad, and added pasta and a few more spices along with Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil so you can actually eat this for a meal. If you want more protein, you can add in chicken or summer sausage – which is something I do often as I do like to have more protein! I love Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil it’s one of my faves, and I buy it all the time. I also love their bottles (which is kinda silly, I know) but it actually makes it seem really fancy even though this olive oil is very reasonably priced. Delaney and I always joke that we’re suckers for good branding, but hey – we own a design agency, how can we not be?!
This homemade Caprese Pasta Salad recipe is perfect to make for lunch, dinner, and especially for upcoming spring and summer BBQs as it makes an amazing side dish as well. It’s also a great recipe to prep ahead of time, as you can easily store it in the fridge until ready to serve. Grab the recipe below for my easy Caprese Pasta Salad.
Why go organic?
You may be wondering why I push organic ingredients for everything, even savory and healthy dishes. Organic ingredients go beyond just health and wellness, and contribute so much to the taste and flavor of a recipe. So, if you think that you’re making something healthy and buying fruits, veggies, or meats so maybe you don’t need to spend the extra to go organic here – let me sway your thinking.
Organic ingredients are made in a more pure way, therefore using no additives, no GMOs, and minimal ingredients. This really allows the true ingredients to shine – and because of that their flavor shines through. Therefore, organic ingredients are more flavorful than their non organic counterparts. So, just because it’s already a healthy recipe, or you’re already buying good for you ingredients – it doesn’t mean you can skip organic! Trust me here, and make the switch. Your body and your taste buds will thank you!
So, I highly recommend that you buy the best organic ingredients for this recipe! You can also shop my Amazon Storefront for all my favorite organic ingredients here. Tip – hover over each ingredient to see the name. And if you want to learn more about organic foods and the difference, read my post here on Food Labels and What They Mean.
Caprese Pasta Salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 pound organic Gemelli noodles
1 pint organic cherry tomatoes
8 ounces organic mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped organic fresh basil
1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons organic balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon organic garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon organic oregano
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook the noodles by following the directions on the box. Allow to cool completely and set aside. (I will usually make the noodles the night before, store in a air tight container in the fridge until ready to use).
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, fine sea salt, and pepper and whisk together. Set aside.
To assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add the cooled noodles.
Half or quarter the cherry tomatoes, depending on their size. Cube the mozzarella. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and chopped basil into the bowl with the noodles.
Pour all the dressing over the top, and toss to coat completely.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Gluten Free — Use gluten free noodles.
High Altitude — Follow the recipe as noted (but note, that your pasta may take longer to cook than the box says because of altitude, make sure to test it is done).