We were invited to a July 4th party yesterday, and I was asked to make a pasta salad. I love making them, but I keep trying to make up new ones, and it's a challenge! I went to Sam's club to get a few things, and saw these pearl fresh mozzarella balls, and knew I had to get them and use them. I'd never seen them this small before! I also saw the tri-color tortellini there, so I decided to make a Caprese salad, but with tortellini. For the dressing, I used a thin pesto. This pasta salad was delicious and the pearl mozzarella balls were a hit!
Caprese Pasta Salad
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c. pearl mozzarella balls (or diced fresh mozzarella from large balls)
1 lb. fresh tortellini
1 small red onion, sliced very thin
4 c. fresh basil
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1/3 c. grated parmesan
salt and pepper
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
1/3/-1/2 c. EVOO
Water or vegetable stock, to thin it more, if desired
In a food processor, add basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
Process to a fine mince, pulsing and running the machine as necessary.
Stream in EVOO and leave processor running.
Scrape down the sides, taste, adjust seasonings, add water or stock for a thinner dressing (this can also be added later)
Cook tortellini according to package, drain and cool to room temp.
Add mozzarella, tomatoes, onion and pesto to a large bowl. Toss to coat.
Add tortellini, toss to coat.
This pasta salad needs to be refrigerated, however is best to eat closer to room temperature.