Caprese Pasta Salad


altThis simple, fresh salad is bound to become your favorite summer pasta salad. I first read a variation in the New York Times and have been playing with it ever since.

I love how the garlic infused oil acts as dressing and the pasta is soft, without being gummy. Toss it together at any time of day for a light meal, or serve it with a cold beverage for the perfect summer dinner.


  • 5 large cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
  • ½ cup good quality olive oil
  • 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 6 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 pound rigatoni or penne


1. Mix together the garlic, olive oil and basil leaves in a large bowl. Set aside and allow to marinate for up to several hours.
2. Two hours before serving stir the tomatoes into the marinade. Leave on the counter for later.
3. Right before serving, boil the rigatoni in salted water according to package directions. Drain the pasta and immediately add to the bowl with the tomato mixture. Scatter the mozzarella on top of the pasta and toss first so that the mozzarella melts a little and coats the pasta. Then, stir up the tomato and olive oil mixture from the bottom and toss well. Add a pinch or two of Kosher salt to taste. Serve.