One of my favorite summer salads is the classic Italian Caprese. Layers of fresh garden tomatoes and creamy buffalo mozzarella sandwiched between fresh basil leaves, then sprinkled with fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. To me there is no better combination. Give me Caprese every single day and I’d be happy.
I wanted to create a recipe packed full of the same delicious flavors we could enjoy all year long, not just at the peak of tomato season. The simple answer to this dilemma is to roast your tomatoes, throw in some pasta and BAM!!! A delicious combo that will have you craving summer all year long!
We LOVE tomatoes around here. My youngest pops them like candy! I especially love fresh garden tomatoes. Lucky for us we have a green thumb neighbor on either side of us and between the two they keep us stocked all season! Don’t worry I return the favor in powerballs.
Blistered tomatoes take my tomato love up a notch. They are SO GOOD. The oven takes a sweet tomato and turns it into candy, literally. Even better, it turns out of season tomatoes into edible gems!
This is my favorite way to use up any tomatoes on the verge of spoiling too. I’ll throw in a batch and then freeze them to use later in pasta dishes, soups and casseroles!
I had a hunch adding the step of blistering the tomatoes to this would take this recipe to an entirely new level and let me tell you it definately does! Add in creamy mozzarella pearls and fresh garden basil, goodness gracious. You almost don’t even need to add the dressing, almost.
I served this exactly as pictured with the dressing on the side. I love the look of the tossed ingredients, and it shows exactly whats in the dish before the beauty of the dressing takes over.
The dressing… OMG the dressing deserves its own post. Roasted red pepper vinaigrette, need I say more? I could drink it. Not only is it delicious, it adds the most beautiful color!
FOOD IS PRETTY!!!
Look at those colors! This dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Serve it as is or with a side of chicken or fish for a complete meal!
Post updated from March 2015
Caprese Pasta Salad with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Yield 6-8 servings
For the dressing
- 1 red pepper, roasted with seeds removed or 1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, liquid removed
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp minced shallots
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
To make the salad
- 1 (16 ounce) package rotini pasta
- 8 ounces mozzarella pearls or cubed fresh mozzarella
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 pound red cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 pound yellow grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tsp dried italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- In a blender, combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut the larger tomatoes in half, leaving the smaller tomatoes whole. Place tomatoes cut side up on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle with italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil evenly over top. Stir to coat.
- Roast tomatoes uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until blistered and ready to pop. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
- While tomatoes are roasting, cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with warm water, drain and set aside.
- Add warm pasta to a mixing bowl. Pour prepared dressing on top and toss to coat. Let cool to room temperature.
- Add tomatoes along with any drippings from the pan, mozzarella, and basil to the pasta mixture. Toss to combine. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!