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Caprese Pasta Salad

June 6, 2014

There’s a cafe in my neighborhood that serves the most amazing salads! There are so many good ones to choose from, I can never decide what to order. But this pasta salad is one of my favorites. I absolutely love the grilled zucchini in it! This is my attempt to recreate the salad at home–and I think I got it just right. This recipe makes plenty, so it’s great for a pot luck or lunch with friends.

1 lb. orecchiette pasta
1 medium zucchini
25 fresh cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
2/3 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for pan
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
Garlic salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside to cool completely.
  • While pasta is cooling, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a grill pan.
  • Slice zucchini long-wise and place slices in hot grill pan.
  • Grill zucchini 3-5 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  • Remove from pan and cool completely. Once cooled, cut into cubes.
  • In a large bowl, pour in 2/3 cup olive oil.
  • Using a whisk, add vinegar and whisk until emulsified.
  • Add to bowl with dressing, cooled pasta, cooled zucchini cubes, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Toss to coat.
  • Season with garlic salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
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