CAPRESE PASTA SALAD WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

This Caprese Pasta Salad is made with fresh mozzarella, basil, and deliciously juicy sun-dried tomatoes, then covered in a homemade herb dressing. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for an amazing salad that will become your new favorite!

CAPRESE PASTA SALAD WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES #pasta #salad


INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz bowtie pasta
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped into ribbons
  • 1 (8 oz) jar julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil with herbs
  • 2 teaspoons + 3/4 cup Balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)
CAPRESE PASTA SALAD WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES #pasta #salad


INSTRUCTIONS:
To make the pasta salad:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pasta, fresh mozzarella, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes with a small amount of oil from the jar. Save whatever oil is left in the jar to moisten the pasta salad later.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons of Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, dried basil and pepper to taste. Pour over the pasta and stir everything gently to coat. Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator to chill. Once you are ready to serve, drizzle with the balsamic reduction (recipe below) and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese if desired. If pasta salad gets dry after being in the refrigerator, use some of the leftover oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes to moisten it.


To make the Balsamic reduction:

  1. Pour 3/4 cup Balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and place over low heat on the stove. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar reduces and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. 
  2. Remove from heat and drizzle over the salad immediately. Be careful not to let it cool for too long, or it will thicken and harden in the pan. 
  3. Also, be sure to to turn on your vent fan on your stove while making the balsamic reduction as it creates a strong smell!

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