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A really simple dish to put together, it is served cold and is a great choice to serve on a very hot and humid evening. You will want to start this pasta salad early in the day to give it time for everything to marinate and bring out the flavors.
Preparing the ingredients for Caprese Pasta Salad
Cooking and combining ingredients
Caprese Bow Tie Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups bite-size fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut into quarters
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing (more if you like you pasta salad less dry)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb bow tie pasta
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped and more if you like.
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 to 1 cup shaved Parmesan
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
In a small bowl, toss the mozzarella and grape/cherry tomatoes with the Italian dressing. Cover and refrigerate.
In a skillet on low, heat the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes allowing the garlic to soften (but not brown) and infuse the oil.
Meanwhile, boil the bow tie pasta according to box directions. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Set the pasta mixture aside to cool.
When the pasta is cooled, add the cheese and tomatoes along with the dressing marinade. Season the salad with salt and pepper and top with 3 tablespoons fresh basil. Toss on Parmesan cheese and pine nut when serving.
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