Searching for an easy weeknight meal that is equal parts healthy, delicious and time effective? Then this easy caprese pasta salad will absolutely blow your mind! As much as I would love to whip up a multi-dish meal every night, some days just get the best of you and it’s either frozen pizza or ordering take-out. This recipe will have you vowing to never settle for terrible frozen pizza or wasting money on take-out again – promise!
This pasta dish is a fun twist on everyone’s favorite appetizer, the caprese salad, and it’s just as delicious as it looks. A few cherry tomatoes, a healthy serving of fresh mozzarella, a pinch of this, a dash of that, and you are back in Italy dining along the coast. Not bad for a weeknight, right?
The real secret is what you pair it with. This caprese pasta dish is killer on its own, but pair it with a crisp glass of Kendall-Jackson AVANT Chardonnay and the whole meal is elevated. I love the K-J AVANT collection of wines because they’re approachable weeknight wines that gives you great taste, time-after-time-after-time.
- 1 pound penne
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 – 4 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Sea salt, to taste
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add a liberal dose of salt to the water & cook penne according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet on medium. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until it begins to turn pale golden. Add cherry tomatoes and continue stirring and cooking for 2 – 3 minutes. Stir gently as not to bruise the tomatoes
- Add arugula to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds, add in add pasta, mozzarella, and basil pesto. Toss everything together until pasta is warmed through and everything is lightly coated in pesto. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt & drizzle with a little EVVO.
- Pour some Kendall-Jackson AVANT Chardonnay
Now, I know penne pasta has its corner on your weeknight dinner menu (because, doesn’t everyone have penne pasta at least once a week?) but what do you say we spice things up a bit? Throw those cherry tomatoes around like no one is watching and have one killer weeknight meal in under 20 minutes!
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