Pasta Caprese

Pasta Caprese salad

Pasta Caprese

Sometimes, it’s just to hot to spend much time in the kitchen. In Florida, that’s pretty much all the days between May & September. The air conditioner is running all the time. So, you either cook something on the grill or crank the ac down to freezing and fire up the oven. I like to take the middle and pick something that doesn’t need cooking or doesn’t use enough heat to turn the kitchen into a super nova. Salads! While this isn’t your lettuce type of salad, it’s still a salad and it uses minimum kitchen time. Plus, this has the bonus of being a perfect dish to take to a cook out.

Let’s get the cooking done, so we can go sip cold beverages on the front porch.

Pasta Caprese ingredients

the goodies

Set a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Dump in the farfalle pasta and let it cook.

boiling pasta

Looks hot.

If you can’t find farfalle, use something else. Get some fusilli, macaroni, rotini, whatever! I wouldn’t use lasagna, though. That would just be silly.  When the pasta is cooked to your desired doneness, drain it. Don’t bend over the sink. That steam will melt your face.

draining the pasta

free facial steaming

Shake off the excess water and pour the pasta in to a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool. (and open the freezer and let the coolness waft over you)

While that pasta is cooking, let’s get the rest of the stuff ready. Take 1 cup of cherry tomatoes and cut them all in half.

cherry tomatoes


Scoop out 1 cup of little mozzarella balls. If you get the same kind as I did – hey, we have slim pickings around here – you have to unstick them from each other. If yours are liquid packed, drain off the liquid. We don’t want to use that.


itty, bitty cheese

Tear or snip about 3/4th a cup of fresh basil.

torn basil


Grab that bowl of pasta. Add in the tomatoes, basil and cheese.

bowl of salad


Pour 1/2 cup of your favorite Italian dressing over it.


oil & vinegar don’t mix

A home made dressing would be great, if you are so inclined! Once dressed, mix it all together. Transfer the mix to a serving dish, cover it up and stick it in the fridge for an hour. You have to let everything cool down and let the flavors meld. That’s it. A quick, in and out of the kitchen, dish that’s yummy. Now, grab that cold beverage and go chill out! You deserve it after all your hard work.

Pasta Caprese

Think cool thoughts.

Pasta Caprese
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
A fresh, simple pasta salad in the caprese style.
  • 4 cups of farfalle pasta – dry
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved
  • 1 cup mozzarella pearls or ciliegine
  • ¾ cup fresh basil – torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup of bottled Italian style salad dressing or home made
  1. Boil pasta in salted water, uncovered, stirring occasionally until desired tenderness is reached. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Set aside to cool.
  2. While pasta is cooking, cut the cherry tomatoes into halves. Measure out the cup of small mozzarella balls. Tear or snip the basil into small pieces.
  3. Add the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella to the bowl with the pasta. Pour the Italian dressing over all. Stir to combine. Transfer to serving dish, cover and chill for one hour before serving.


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