Pasta Caprese


It’s no secret that I love anything having to do with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes (in combination).  In my opinion, they make up one of the best flavor combinations in the world.  Fresh flavors, bright colors, and basic simplicity.  So it was only a matter of time before I decided to post about a pasta with these flavors.

I made this recipe via the long way (which I am posting here) because I wanted to stay as true to it as possible.  Plus, I honestly wanted to see if the long way actually added more flavor to the end product.  My honest opinion is: yes.  But if you don’t have time to peel and dice your own fresh tomatoes, feel free to use a large 28-ounce can of peeled tomatoes.  The long way seemed to give this dish a little added boost of freshness, which was my favorite part.  Letting the tomatoes sit in the olive oil mixture (although it added an extra 20 minutes to the recipe time) really did make a huge difference in taste.  I even heated up the leftovers for lunch the next day, and the little bit of olive oil kept the pasta from drying out.  I was surprised by how well the flavors still held together after two days in the refrigerator.  This is another keeper recipe for me.

Pasta Caprese

Servings: 4


5 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced.***To do this, cut a shallow “X” on the bottom of each tomato.  Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, and place the tomatoes in the water for about 15 seconds or so.  Immediately remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place into an ice water bath.  This will stop the tomatoes from cooking.  At this point, the skins should be easy to remove, and the tomatoes can be easily de-seeded and diced at this point.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 pound rigatoni

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced or cubed as desired

Approximately 15-20 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded



1. Place the peeled and diced tomatoes in a colander for about 15 minutes to remove excess juices.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the drained tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper.  Mix the ingredients well and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat.

4.  Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.

5. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

6. Add the tomato mixture, mozzarella, and basil.  Toss gently, and serve immediately.

Source: Williams-Sonoma’s Pasta.

May 23, 2011 - 6:30 am

Apron Appeal - I don’t think I will be able to get my kids to eat this with the tomato chunks. I think I may try it with a tomato sauce instead. I have to try it because it looks too good not to.

May 23, 2011 - 8:07 am

Blog is the New Black - One of my fav ones to enjoy pasta salad! Love this combo.

May 23, 2011 - 8:56 am

grace garden - Can’t wait to try this with fresh heirlooms and basil from the garden this summer! Beautiful photos, as usual!

May 23, 2011 - 10:07 am

mom - YES! this is a keeper!

May 23, 2011 - 11:07 am

Tracey - This looks phenomenal! It’s such a pretty dish with the red, white & green colors.

May 23, 2011 - 2:04 pm

sweetsugarbean - I love anything with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella too! Must try this when my tomatoes are ready to be picked. Oh how I love summer food!

May 23, 2011 - 7:07 pm

Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum - I made something similar recently, but mine was warm, so the cheese melted all over everything (which I loved…) but it’s good to know it can be done cold/room temp as well! I will probably make it A LOT this summer. 🙂

May 24, 2011 - 6:42 pm

Christina @ This Woman Cooks! - I loooove caprese anything, this looks perfect, I hope to make it soon. 🙂

May 25, 2011 - 7:52 am

Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) - I made something similar to this a few weeks ago, but your recipe blows mine out of the water! I definitely have to try your recipe this week for sure. It looks beyond tasty.

May 25, 2011 - 5:16 pm

alyce - this looks so fresh and delicious.

May 25, 2011 - 9:56 pm

Laura Wallan - I learned a neat trick when making this recipe several years ago. Cube the mozzerella and put it on a plate in the freezer for 15 minutes. When you fold it into the pasta it doesn’t melt into a gooey mess. I stays where it is and comes to room temperature.

This is a great dish to serve on the patio during the Summer months with wine and sourdough bread.

May 28, 2011 - 9:16 pm

Night in | callmepatricia - […] Caprese; recipe from The Curvy […]

June 7, 2011 - 9:06 am

qq:) - i love the penne so much~!
fresh tomato is refreshing in summer~!

June 8, 2011 - 2:16 am

Paula at Dishing The Divine - My tomatoes about the size of ping pong balls, but surely they will be huge someday soon and then red someday after that and *then* I can make delicious looking pasta like this! (Your photos are, again, gorgeous!)

June 21, 2011 - 5:25 pm

Kristine - I have been craving the flavor combination of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, so I will be trying this recipe soon! It looks so fresh and delicious!

June 27, 2011 - 11:07 pm

April - This is a fantastic recipe – even when you discover the fresh basil in the fridge is actually quite far from fresh; and vastly underestimate the amount of pasta needed. Thank you for sharing it!

August 5, 2011 - 1:06 pm

wendy - Living in Sacra-tomato where tomatoes amd basil grow better than weeds most years, tis hard to go wrong combining these ingredients. This was wonderful hot with grated romano and, imho, even better the next day adding some toasted pine nuts. BTW, lemon EVOO added another layer of flavor. Thanks! YUM! Off to freeze basil today…..

August 14, 2011 - 5:58 pm

Melanie@Reasons to Skip the Housework - I found this on Pinterest and it looks so good. I’m featuring it on my blog tomorrow….stop on over and say hi!


Reasons To Skip The Housework {The Blog}
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September 1, 2011 - 3:22 am

Kathy - Refreshing & easy? So going into my ‘Recipes To Try’ board on Pinterest 😀

September 22, 2011 - 11:30 pm

Caprese Pasta « Roads are made by Traveling - […] got this recipe from this blog. Served good both hot and cold. Very light and very simple to make […]

January 25, 2012 - 1:58 am

Ashleysh22 - I think I might just try this with feta instead of mozzarella…

March 19, 2012 - 5:18 am

What we’re eating this week « mccobbfamily - […] Pasta Caprese with 5 minute […]

March 7, 2013 - 7:30 am
August 20, 2013 - 3:48 pm

Summer Eats | - […] {pasta caprese, recipe here} […]