Caprese pasta with tomato-basil vinaigrette – The Boston Globe

Catherine Smart for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

Marinate halved cherry tomatoes in a simple vinaigrette to infuse curly pasta and mozzarella with Mediterranean flavor. Best served at room temperature, this makes a perfect potluck dish.

Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound cavatappi or other curly pasta
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 medium bunch fresh basil, stemmed, leaves chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into ½-inch pieces
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite. Drain but do not rinse; set aside.

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2. In a large bowl that will hold all the pasta, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella.

3. Add the pasta and grated Parmesan. Stir gently. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you like. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Catherine Smart