- 1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes
- 8 oz uncooked macaroni pasta*
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp pure cane sugar
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, finely-minced
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, minced
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the largest tomatoes in half, leaving smaller ones whole. Place the tomatoes in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to lightly coat. Shake the pan a few times to toss the tomatoes in the oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are just beginning to wrinkle and burst. Remove from the oven and let cool to room-temperature.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook al dente according to package directions, generally about 10 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the balsamic vinaigrette: Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, shallot, garlic and oregano until combined.
- Remove the pasta from the heat, drain, rinse briefly in cold water, and return to the pot. Toss with the balsamic vinaigrette. Stir in the roasted tomatoes, along with any tomato juices, the mozzarella and the basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve at room-temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
The tomatoes can be roasted up to a day in advance, and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the caprese pasta salad a meal by adding slices of grilled chicken or salmon.
**For an even faster caprese pasta salad, skip the roasting step and use fresh cherry tomatoes. This works best if you have really flavorful, peak-season tomatoes. If yours are just so-so flavor-wise, go ahead and roast the tomatoes to pull out all that sweet flavor.