Orecchiette Caprese Pasta has all of the delicious flavors of caprese salad from sweet grape tomatoes, to fresh torn mozzarella and basil tossed with olive oil and lemon and hot orecchiette pasta. This is a simple and flavorful summer dish.
Orecchiette Caprese Pasta
Orecchiette pasta or “little ears” as it translates in Italian is one of my favorite pasta’s to cook with. The shape of these noodles holds onto just about anything you toss with them from sauce to cheese. For this easy summer dinner, I added mozzarella, grape tomatoes and basil to turn it into a caprese pasta. And Similar to my Bacon Avocado Tomato Pasta, this dish’s only “sauce” is a simple vinaigrette.
Ingredients in Caprese Pasta
- Pasta – I used orecchiette but you can use any shape noodle you like best!
- Tomatoes – small grape or cherry tomatoes are the perfect bite.
- Mozzarella – Buffalo Mozzarella or any soft mozzarella cheese that can be torn into bite sized pieces.
- Basil – fresh basil leaves add so much delicious flavor to this dish.
- Olive Oil & Lemon – to make a simple dressing.
- Garlic, salt & pepper – fresh garlic and simple seasonings.
How to Make Caprese Pasta
- Boil – start by cooking the pasta in salted water. If you are using Orecchiette, it tends to take a bit longer than other shaped pastas to cook so follow the package instructions for this step.
- Dressing – while the pasta cooks, whisk together garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chop & Tear – depending on the size of your tomatoes, you will either want to cut them in half or quarters. Tear mozzarella and basil and set aside. Alternately you can do this right over the pasta in the serving dish.
- Dress & Toss – once the pasta is drained, drizzle with the vinaigrette and add in the tomatoes, cheese and basil.
Served Hot or Cold
While most people think of pasta like this as a cold dish, I actually prefer to serve it hot! While the pasta cooks, make the dressing. This way, you can drizzle it right over the drained pasta while it’s still hot. The orecchiette absorbs the dressing and the heat from the pasta gently softens the mozzarella. So delicious.
More Easy Dinners
Looking for more simple and easy meals you can get on the table fast? Here are a few of my favorites!
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Grill Packets
- Easy Turkey and Black Bean Chili
- Mahi Mango Fish Tacos
- Sticky Baked Asian Chicken Thighs
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- Bacon Avocado Tomato Pasta
- Turkey Zucchini Meatballs
- 1 pound Orecchiette pasta
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup fresh basil, torn
- 12 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 small clove garlic, grated or finely minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook pasta until al dente according to the package instructions.
- Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Drain pasta (do not rinse) and place in a large serving dish. Immediately drizzle hot pasta with olive oil and lemon juice mixture. Toss to coat.
- Add tomatoes, cheese and basil and toss to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve warm.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 414mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 15g