I recently came to the realization that a lot of my favorite recipes are born out of cravings. I’ll crave something in particular and create a new dish around it. For example, my favorite sausage pasta dish came to life because I was feening for some Italian sausage. My all-time favorite dessert recipe was created because I really wanted a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. And today’s recipe was developed because I had a taste for a caprese salad!
Everyone loves a good caprese salad, right? It’s a fresh, simple dish that always hits the spot. I didn’t think something so easy and delicious could get better but, you guys, I think my pasta version of it takes it to a whole new level. I love carbs so obviously I’ll find any excuse to turn a salad into a pasta dish. The flavors in this dish are so so good and you can serve it warm or cold. I should also mention it’s a super easy dish to whip together and it tastes amazing next to basically everything. You can’t go wrong with this one!!
- 1 1/3 c. orzo
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3/4 c. grape tomatoes, quartered
- 8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls
- Fresh basil, for garnish
- Salt, black pepper
- Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and stir in the orzo. Cook orzo until tender but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the garlic in olive oil until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the orzo to the skillet and lightly toss in garlic-olive oil. Add the quartered tomatoes and toss. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until tomatoes have softened.
- Add the chiffonaded basil to the skillet and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and toss in mozzarella pearls. The warm pasta will soften and slightly melt the mozzarella. For more melted mozzarella, add to heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Enjoy!
- If serving cold, add mozzarella pearls once dish is cool and drizzle in olive oil to loosen up pasta.