This Caprese Pasta Salad is a summertime dream come true! Sun-ripened tomatoes, creamy mozzarella pearls, and fragrant basil dance upon a bed of chilled pasta, drizzled with a tangy balsamic glaze for a refreshing and flavorful symphony in every bite. It’s perfect for a light lunch, a potluck contribution, or a picnic under the warm summer sun.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz short pasta, such as penne, farfalle, or fusilli
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz bocconcini or mozzarella pearls
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and keep it chilled.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and torn basil leaves.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the pasta salad and toss gently to combine.
  5. Serve immediately for a refreshing and flavorful summer treat.

Tips:

  • For a richer flavor, add a handful of chopped fresh Parmesan cheese to the salad.
  • If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, you can substitute red wine vinegar, but the flavor will be slightly different.
  • You can use any type of pasta you like for this salad. Just make sure it’s short-cut, so it’s easy to eat with a fork.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

This Caprese Pasta Salad with Balsamic Glaze is a light and flavorful dish that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s easy to make, refreshing to eat, and sure to please everyone at the table. So enjoy a taste of summer sunshine on a plate and savor the vibrant flavors of this delightful Caprese masterpiece!

Variations:

  • Mediterranean Twist: Add chopped Kalamata olives, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese for a Mediterranean twist.
  • Grilled Veggie Delight: Grill some zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers and add them to the salad for a smoky and flavorful variation.
  • Protein Power-Up: Add grilled chicken or shrimp to the salad for a more substantial meal.

No matter how you choose to enjoy it, this Caprese Pasta Salad with Balsamic Glaze is sure to become a summertime staple. So get creative, have fun, and savor the taste of the season!