Summer Salad Series: Spinach Caprese Pasta Salad

I made this pasta salad last weekend for a birthday barbeque and it seemed to go over very well. I like this one for the summer because it is very light and the spinach and especially tomatoes are tastes of summer for me. You can make this in either large or small quantities, it can definitely be made ahead of time and it travels well, too. Perfect for attending or hosting summer parties!

What You’ll Need: 12 side servings

  • 1 pound pasta, I prefer Farfalle (bowties) for this
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • Fresh Mozzarella cheese (half average size block/roll)
  • half bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 4 average-sized basil leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What you’ll do:

Prepare the pasta, drain and return to a large pot or mixing bowl.

Chop tomatoes – I found that it worked best to slice in to round disks, then cutting each “disk” twice in to 4 pieces. Add to pasta

Remove the end of the stems from the leaves of spinach, rip spinach up in to smaller pieces. Add to pot.

Cube mozzarella in to desired size pieces.

Remove outer casing and any rough edges from the cloves of garlic. Mince garlic in to very small pieces and add to pasta.

Fold all basil leaves together and chop finely. Mix everything together.

Add red wine vinegar and olive oil. Mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

That’s it! Not too bad as long as you can stand all of the cutting and chopping, or if you have a great sous chef! 😉

A tip for pasta salads: The ideal bite would contain a little bit of everything. It is up to you to decide how big you want each of your ingredients to be as you prepare them to be added to the pasta. However, think about how small they would all need to be in order to fit nicely on a fork and in to your – and your guests’ – mouths all at once 🙂 In terms of this recipe I would caution against making the mozzarella pieces too big.

I would also try this with some grilled chicken mixed in, or sub the pasta for heartier veggies like zucchini and squash for gluten free/low carb! Try Dreamfields pasta for a healthier, but still truly pasta taste and texture!

Do you have a favorite pasta salad?

If you avoid pasta, anything you prefer as a substitute?

Any suggestions for salads for me to add to the series, or particular ingredients to highlight?


2 thoughts on “Summer Salad Series: Spinach Caprese Pasta Salad

  1. Pingback: Caprese-Style Bruschetta « eat something new

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s