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Tomato Caprese Pasta Sauce

Tomato Caprese Pasta Sauce

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  • Pasta is one of the most versatile, delicious and simple foods to prepare.

    There are half-inebriated college kids whipping up spaghetti dinners every night at the frat house. If the frat dudes can do it, so can you! Plus, there’s something about that first fall season cold snap in the air that leaves people craving carbs. So invite your friends over for a pasta party that will knock your socks off without putting you in the kitchen the entire time.

    It’s Gravy, Not Sauce!

    If you ever watched The Sopranos, you know that they called tomato sauce “gravy.” While my family was definitely not in the same line of work as Tony, we too call regular sauce “gravy.” If you want to be a true pasta fan, follow in the footsteps of the many Italian-Americans who call it GRAVY, NOT SAUCE (as my grandfather so politely announced during a toast at my wedding). My suggestion is to have three different kind of “gravies” or “sauces” at your pasta party. If you have vegetarian friends like I do, be kind and make at least one meatless sauce.

    Tomato Gravy

    Whatever you may call it, marinara sauce is a classic Italian sauce. Pair it with meatballs for a real treat. I like to quickly pan-fry my meatballs (not all the way through) and then let them cook in the gravy the whole time. I desperately wish I could share my gravy recipe, but then I would be excommunicated from the family. I can tell you that if you combine lots of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and Italian seasonings, you can’t go wrong. Capish? Or if you’re a little skittish not having directions, try one of these:

    Homemade Tomato Sauce
    Crock-Pot Tomato Sauce
    Fresh Tomato Sauce

    Vodka Sauce

    Vodka sauce is a personal favorite of mine, and one that not many people have on a regular basis. The vodka burns off while you cook, so don’t expect to feel a buzz after eating this (unless you pair it with a delicious bottle of vino). I have always liked Rachael Ray’s “You won’t be single for long Vodka Sauce recipe.” If you don’t have the time to go all out, get a jar of your favorite marinara, then add heavy cream, vodka and basil for a delicious creamy sauce.

    Tomato Caprese Sauce

    If you want to try something really unique, check out my Tomato Caprese Sauce recipe below. This is a super-quick chunky topping that would be great as a warm dish or a cold pasta salad. I love using Muir Glen diced tomatoes for this, because they’re seasoned so perfectly.


    The logistics for your pasta party don’t have to be tricky. I’d suggest making your sauces the day before, or even way in advance and freeze them. Prepare one or two large batches of pasta (penne goes well with everything) and keep your three sauces simmering on the stove. As guests arrive, ask them which pasta combination they’d like.

    To make it even easier, set out the cooked pasta, sauces and serving utensils with pasta bowls in the kitchen for a simple self-serve station. Serve bread and a delicious salad, like my Goes with Anything Salad recipe, to go with the pasta and tell your guests to eat until their heart’s content!


    Here are some fantastic ways to decorate for your pasta party:

    Pasta-cation: Give your guests an education in pasta (aka a pasta-cation!). Scatter clusters of dried pasta and label each cluster. People will be shocked to find out there is a difference between penne and rigatoni! Really get into the theme by creating an Italian flag with construction paper to display your pasta-cation.

    Ingredients as décor: Breadsticks, tomatoes, garlic and basil all look great on the table and really embody the pasta theme. Rinse out your crushed tomato cans and use them for simple flower arrangements!

    The possibilities for a pasta party are endless. With a little planning ahead and some guests with hearty appetites, your pasta party will be an absolute blast! MANGIA!

Caprese Pasta

This Caprese Pasta is full of fresh ingredients and so easy to make. A light tomato sauce coats the pasta, and fresh mozzarella and basil add tons of flavor!

Isn’t summer produce the best? Juicy cherry tomatoes are my favorite this time of year. I love the variety of fresh cherry and grape tomato colors – red, orange, yellow, and even purple.

For this caprese pasta recipe, I took some inspiration from the abundance of ripe cherry tomatoes that are available this time of year. I wanted to create a dish in which their fresh flavor could shine.

The combination of tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella is a favorite, most often found in caprese salad. This classic combination makes this tomato, basil and mozzarella pasta recipe so delicious.

This caprese pasta is a perfect quick summer dinner. You might also enjoy my Spinach Pesto Pasta, another summery meal made with cherry tomatoes.

One reason I love this salad so much is that it tastes delicious when served warm (the way Martha suggests), or at room temp (which makes it perfect for taking to a potluck party), or even snacking on it as I stand at the open fridge, with the door swung wide open and the chilled fridge air cooling me down in this summer heat as I eat it straight from the storage container.

Thinly slicing the garlic maximizes their flavor when cooked in the oil. I first gently smash the cloves of garlic with the flat side of a chef’s knife to release their perfumey oil (this knife is my favorite) then I slice them thinly on my indispensable hand-held mandoline.

Then, the slices of fresh garlic are gently poached until golden in olive oil. Don’t be alarmed at the amount of olive oil this recipe calls for because it’s used to marinate the tomatoes and also serves as the dressing. Same goes for the 1 cup of basil leaves. You’ll be surprised at how much flavor they both impart to the salad.

The addition of fresh squeezed lemon juice and capers balances the acid and oil of the salad and gives it just the right pucker and freshness to compliment each and every garlic-spiked bite.

I used long strand bucatini pasta for this recipe. If you’re unfamiliar with bucatini, it’s similar to spaghetti with a hole in the middle, but it’s thicker and sturdier for a more solid bite. But honestly, this recipe could be made with any pasta you prefer or have on hand.

Cook the pasta just until al dente. Cooking the pasta any longer will make the pasta mushy as it sits and absorbs the garlic infused oil.

I used bocconcini balls of mozzarella because I like that they are the same size as the cherry tomatoes. I cut mine in half so they go further. Pearl size mozzarella balls or even slices of a mozzarella log would certainly work just as fine too.

  • 1 pound tomatoes (fresh, supremely ripe)
  • Optional: 1 small clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs basil (fresh)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (fresh)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pound angel hair pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

While the water comes to a boil, prepare the tomatoes: Halve the tomatoes crosswise, squeeze excess juice from the tomatoes into a bowl large enough to hold the pasta once it's cooked, chop the tomatoes, and add the chopped tomatoes to their juices in the bowl.

Peel and mince the garlic if you want to use it, and add it to the tomatoes. Pour in the olive oil to tomatoes and toss to combine.

Remove the leaves from the basil stems, stack them up, and cut them crosswise into ribbons.

Add three-quarters of the basil to the tomatoes set aside the rest to use as a garnish.

Dice the mozzarella. Add half of the mozzarella to the tomatoes (it will melt a bit with the pasta) and reserve the rest to add at the end.

Add enough salt to the boiling water to make it taste as salty as the sea (about 1 tablespoon salt to 2 quarts of water). Seriously, you want the water seasoned enough so that the pasta gets a bit of seasoning as it cooks and brings it to the whole dish.

When the water boils, add the pasta and cook it until it's tender to the bite. Drain and quickly add the pasta to the bowl with the tomato mixture in it. Toss well to combine everything thoroughly—the heat from the pasta will melt the cheese a bit, the pasta will absorb a bit of the tomato juices, and the tossing will help emulsify the tomato juice and olive oil into a real sauce.

Divide the pasta between 4 to 6 servings bowls and top with the remaining mozzarella and garnish with the remaining basil.

More pasta recipes with fresh herbs

Once you’ve stocked your fridge with all of the North Shore Living Herbs, you’ll want to use them in every recipe! Here are a few of my favorite pasta recipes that also include fresh herbs.

  • Pasta alla Boscaiola – creamy mushroom and bacon pasta, made with fresh thyme and parsley.
  • Shrimp Piccata Pasta – made with fresh parsley and easy to make in one pot, in just 20 minutes!
  • Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup – this fan favorite is made with fresh basil in just 15 minutes!
  • Easy Bolognese Meat Sauce – made with fresh basil, this classic Italian sauce is delicious served with pappardelle or spaghetti noodles!

Pick up North Shore Living herbs and greens in the produce section at your local grocery store. You’ll find everything from oregano, to arugula, to chives and so much more! I know you’re going to love how long they last and how fresh they taste in all of your favorite recipes!

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  • 1 pound short pasta, such as Eliche Grandi or Fusilli
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for finishing, such as Bono



Tried this recipe? Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

This pasta couldn’t be simpler – it takes only 20 minutes tops! – and it’s just right for spring and summer.

Pick your favorite pasta (Eliche Grande is pictured!) and toss it with sauteed tomatoes and garlic, basil, and fresh mozzarella. Drizzle a bit of your favorite olive oil at the end – and even some balsamic, if you like – and you’ve got all the flavors of a Caprese salad in a delicious pasta recipe.

How to make tomato basil pasta

  • First, make the sauce by combining garlic, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes and dry white in a medium saucepan. Cook until sauce is thickened.
  • While the sauce is cooking, cook pasta until al dente.
  • Next, stir cream and Parmesan cheese into the sauce. Add water, if desired, to adjust the consistency of the sauce. More water will yield a thinner sauce.
  • Serve the cooked pasta with the tomato sauce and fresh basil or additional Parmesan cheese.

We use penne pasta often for this dish, but you can use your favorite type of pasta. Tortellini pasta, spaghetti and gnocchi pasta all taste great with the homemade tomato basil sauce.

Pasta is the best comfort food. It is warm, comforting and filling. This tomato basil pasta is an easy meal that cooks in about 30 minutes. It is perfect for the weeknights when you want to cook something, but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Caprese Pasta If you like cheesy flavorful pasta, having dinner ready in the time it takes to boil a box of noodles, and using minimal ingredients, then you are going to love this easy caprese pasta recipe. One of the all-star ingredients in this caprese pasta is the Italian dressing. It’s tangy, sweet, and even adds a bit of spice. Plus, it’s light which is always a plus in my book. This dish whips together so quickly that you will have dinner on the table, and by dinner, I mean perhaps the easiest and tastiest pasta ever in record timing. So maybe spaghetti sauce is like two minutes quicker. But this flavor beats marinara any day. Creamy Caprese Pasta

I love the flavors in the classic caprese salad, so I decided make this fun pasta variation. It’s so delicious and will become an instant hit with your family. Some of my other favorite variations are my grilled caprese sandwich, caprese kabobs and one-pot chicken caprese pasta.

Today I’m going to share a super yummy recipe with you…a caprese pasta bake! Caprese salad is my absolute favorite and this dish combines those delicious flavors with my love of pasta. It’s creamy, cheesy and full of the beloved caprese salad ingredients that taste so fresh.

This pasta caprese is one of my favorite family recipes. It’s super easy to make and the whole family loves it! I’ve even done caprese stuffed shells and they turned out amazing. You can use your family’s favorite pasta to make it your own, too.

Creamy… cheesy…caprese pasta bake! What else could you ask for? ) You must give this dish a try. It will soon be a new family favorite for you too. So many delicious flavors wrapped up in this recipe!

What is Chicken Caprese?

Chicken Caprese is made with baked or grilled chicken, fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella, a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

You can use either chicken breast or thigh for this recipe. I’ve tried both. Chicken breast is obviously the healthier option. Lots of people think breast is too dry and boring.

If you’re one of those folks, you’ll want to use thighs for this recipe. I think if you cook the chicken properly, it can be amazing no matter which you use.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta

It is no secret that we love pasta around here. I have always been a big pasta eater, especially when I was growing up. When I first started cooking for my husband (then boyfriend) he would look at me strangely when I didn’t just serve pasta topped with meat and red sauce. While I love spaghetti and meatballs, I love to mix up pasta night. I worked in a small Italian restaurant when I was in high school, and bucatini caprese was one of my favorite dishes on the menu. Thick straw like stands of spaghetti, tossed with lots of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, served with lots of basil…delicious.

I didn’t have any bucatini this time, but this meal turned out equally delicious with the cavatappi pasta. The sauce on this is just amazing. It is so simple and requires such few ingredients, but the taste is incredible.

I switched up my classic version of this recipe by roasting the tomatoes. Oven roasting veggies is my favorite trick for making out of season vegetables taste delicious. In the heart of summer, roasting the tomatoes isn’t necessary, but in the spring, roasting brings out the sweetness and richness of the tomatoes. You can do this with all veggies! I guarantee you can convert non-veggie lovers by pan roasting some with some salt, pepper, and olive oil! I converted my husband to loving cauliflower using this method!

This dinner comes together so quickly and easily. It takes less than 30 minutes, which makes it a great weeknight dinner. You can serve this all on its own for a meatless meal, but I love to grill some chicken to serve alongside it! I have an optional note where you can add extra virgin olive oil after cooking. You make the sauce from the milder olive oil, but we love the taste of extra virgin, so I add some of that as a finishing oil. You also want to add the cheese at the very end so it doesn’t melt too much. I love biting into the big chunks of cheese!

I hope you try this Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta soon! It is seriously easy and delicious and who doesn’t like cheesy noodles, right?



  1. Seumas

    I like it, and it is relevant and interesting!

  2. Morgan Tud

    the Bossy answer, in a fun way ...

  3. Ramses

    In my opinion, this is relevant, I will take part in the discussion.

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