This Caprese pasta salad with arugula pesto, mozzarella and tomato is the only pesto pasta salad you'll need in your life this summer! Ridiculously easy to make, this pasta salad recipe is great for feeding the masses on weekend gatherings, picnics and backyard barbecues. Quick and simple, but bursting with fresh flavours from the arugula pesto! This Caprese pasta salad definitely needs to be on your list of epic pasta salads!
Helloooo from London!!!
Well, I should say hello from Portland where I am currently writing this post, but as we are/will be in London by the time this post goes live, I can confidently say hello from London!
So today's post! You guys know how much I love a salad! Especially an exciting interesting salad, that doesn't leave you hungry and feeds a crowd (hello Panzanella salad and artichoke salad!). Well today is the day! The day I finally get to share my Caprese pasta salad recipe with you, and I cannot wait!
You guys have no idea how long I've wanted to bring you a summer pasta salad! Like, forever. But I just couldn't think of one that was THCK reader worthy. Until now!
Now my Mum makes an amazing pasta salad already, but I think I'm the only one in the fam bam who actually likes it. It's a little unusual, but boy was I ever so excited when she brought it out onto the dinner table! It's a recipe for a curried pasta salad, if well, if you love curry, then you'd probably really like it! It did, however, come from a cookbook from, like the 60s though, when curried everything was the rage, so I really don't know how it would do in today's modern era of hip, uncurried foods, BUT if you want me to share it, I totally will!
I lost track of where I was, but basically, this summer Caprese pasta salad is my new favourite, and I can definitely tell this is coming out for summer parties in our household this year!
This salad is so ridiculously easy to make, I reckon Archie could do it, albeit his opposable thumbs! Maybe not, but this recipe is crazy easy to make!
What makes my Caprese pasta salad different?
I think about this a lot when I do my recipe testing and development. While I want to keep things super simple on THCK, I love giving just a few twists to the recipe, to make it just a little different, without being overly complicated.
Which is where this arugula pesto comes in place!
As well as keeping things user-friendly over here, I also LOVE keeping this cheap and cost-effective. Hence the pesto.
While you can buy your own store-bought pesto, I still so prefer to make my own! With holidays approaching and a HUGE to-do list that included many recipes to make and test, I really wanted to keep things affordable for my own sanity! With this in mind, I wanted to create a pesto that was as good as regular basil pesto, but just a little more in the budget! I do have basil growing, but damn, basil is expensive over here! You can get a small tub of basil for around $4 (I know right!), OR I could have bought my massive tub of arugula for around $2.50.
I also found that you needed a lot less plant to make a big batch of pesto, using arugula than you would if you used basil! So I feel like this is a win-win for everyone!
How do I make the rest of the salad
Aside from whipping up the arugula pesto, there is really not much else to this salad apart from cooking some pasta (and measuring, to avoid, you know, making enough pasta for 12 instead of 6, happens all the time, I get it!), adding in some pearl mozzarella (the tiny mozzarella balls, we call it bocconcini in Australia), adding some fresh tomatoes, and my all-time favourite edition, sundried tomatoes!
This salad comes together in under 20 minutes, requires a few simple ingredients and is great for feeding a crowd!
Summer is the time for potlucks, picnics, backyard gatherings, family do's and general entertaining, so next time you get invited around to a party and get asked to bring a salad to feed a crowd, you know where to look!
This Caprese pasta salad is everything I look for in a salad. Despite the carbs, it is so light and fresh and the flavour of the arugula pesto really brings another element and twist to a boring old pasta salad!
So happy Thursday friends, and make sure you check out our Instagram feed for some London insights!!
Caprese Pasta Salad with Arugula
- 2 cups arugula
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup walnuts or sub pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 3 cups dried farfalle pasta or sub penne or rotini
- 1 cup pearl mozzarella/bocconcini
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- ½ cup basil roughly chopped
- all the arugula pesto
- Place arugula, basil, walnuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a blender.
- Pulse a few times, then set blend speed to low.
- Blend and very slowly, add the olive oil, until the pesto comes together.
- If you're finding the pesto too dry, add a dash more olive oil. If you're finding it too wet, add another handful of arugula.
- Taste and adjust accordingly - you may need to adjust parmesan, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
- Place in a jar to store until required.
Caprese Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
- Drain and cool pasta and add it to a large salad bowl.
- Stir in all the pesto, until the pasta is covered
- Add in mozzarella, halved grape tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and basil
- Mix well, until all the ingredients are covered in pesto
- Cover and allow to cool, or serve straight away.
If you loved this recipe, I'd love for you to leave a comment and review! Also, don't forget to snap a pic of your finished recipe and share it on our on our Instagram account using the hashtag #thehomecookskitchen or tagging me @thehomecookskitchen. I'd love to see your creations!
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