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Caprese Pasta Salad with Artichokes and Olives

Caprese Pasta Salad with Artichokes and Olives

This is simple and healthy recipe for a mayonnaise-free pasta salad that’s full of Mediterranean flavors. Perfect for vegetarians and antipasto-lovers. Makes for an easy dinner, or fantastic side for your next BBQ, plus leftovers taste amazing!
Course Salad
Category Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Autor elle

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 500 g dried spiral-shaped pasta (preferably whole wheat or spelt)
  • 350 g cherry tomatoes, quartered (if available use a mix of heirloom varieties)
  • 150 g marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped*
  • 1 ball water-packed mozzarella, drained and chopped (125 g)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (40 g)
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved (60 g, about 16 olives)
  • 1 tablespoon capers (in brine), drained
  • 2 generous handfuls fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted (25 g)

For the sun-dried tomato dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes halves, drained (50 g)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Fill a large pot with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and add pasta, stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook according to packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  2. To prepare the dressing, use a handheld mixer, or immersion blender to blend together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes until well combined (the dressing will resemble a pesto). Season will salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In a large salad bowl, add the cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, mozzarella, parmesan, olives, capers and basil leaves. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine.
  4. Garnish with pine nuts and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

For recipes using artichokes, I buy herb and oil marinated fresh artichokes hearts from my local delicatessen or farmers market. Alternatively, fresh packaged marinated artichoke hearts can be found at some organic food stores (e.g. Alnatura). Look for them in the refrigerated section with other fresh antipasti. The taste is incomparable to the jarred versions with vinegar which can be quite acidic tasting (and the ones coming from a can can be quite bland).