When it comes to summer salads, this cherry tomato pasta salad with fresh mozzarella makes a winning combination for freshness. Great taste and the ability to prepare it ahead of time will make it a family favorite.
Angel hair pasta, also known as Capellini, gives a fun twist to a caprese salad. It’s by far the best choice for this salad because its thin, spaghetti-like rods retain such a delicate, light quality. Cooked until barely soft, it should be rinsed and drained in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Everything but the vinegar can be mixed a few hours ahead and stored in the fridge. When serving, drizzle on the best quality balsamic vinegar you can afford—it makes a difference! The more aged a vinegar is the more expensive it gets, but it produces a wonderful balance of sweet and sour and you only need a little bit.
Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 lb angel hair pasta, broken into thirds
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, torn or cut into small pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 10 small fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- In a large sauce pan, bring the water to a rolling boil and add the kosher salt and the angel hair pasta. Cook until the noodles are just barely soft but still firm. (About 2 minutes less than the directions call for.) Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow as much water as possible to drain from the noodles before transferring them to a medium-sized serving bowl.
- Toss the noodles in olive oil, then add the mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
- Just before serving, drizzle the salad with the best quality balsamic vinegar you have. Enjoy!
Make this ahead of time and store in the fridge—just don’t add the balsamic vinegar until it’s time to eat.