Caprese salad is one of our all-time favorite dishes, especially when tomatoes are at their peak. So, let’s go a step further, and do a nice pasta dish with that in mind. How about Rotini all Caprese?! Literally bursting with flavor, and dish that comes together in less than an hour. A true classic…pasta and caprese…a match made in Italian heaven! 135% Loon Approved!
Rotini alla Caprese
- 1/2 cup pine nuts aka pignolis
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons good quality red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cut into bite-size cubes, or bocconcini
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup chives chopped
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 12 ounces dried rotini or farfalle, or fusilli
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Place pine nuts on a baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes, until starting to lightly brown (keep an eye on them). Remove, set aside, and sprinkle with salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, capers and garlic, until combined.
Stir in the cheese, tomatoes, basil, chives and parsley. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling, lightly salted water and cook until al dente (about 7 - 9 minutes). Before draining, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Then, drain pasta.
Immediately add hot pasta and the 1/4 cup reserved pasta water to mozzarella mixture and let stand about 1 minute.
Gently toss the pasta and mozzarella mixture.
Season to taste salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the top with toasted pine nuts and then drizzle with balsamic.