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Caprese Pasta Salad

We went to Sorrento, Italy two summers ago, and I think we had some form of caprese salad every single day. When we arrived at our AirBnB, our sweet host had a basket of fresh tomatoes out for us which he had just picked from his garden. It was seriously one of the best pairings– the freshly picked basil, a creamy, thick slice of mozzarella cheese, a juicy, tomato slice and of course, a generous drizzle of balsamic.

For this recipe, our key ingredient is: Tomatoes

Here’s why we care about this recipe:

  • Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene, which is responsible for their bright red coloring. There is research which indicates that eating a tomato is more effective than taking a lycopene supplement. This antioxidant boosts your heart health.
  • Lycopene has been linked to cancer prevention! It has been shown to not only fight against prostate and lung cancer, but stomach cancer as well.
  • Fun fact… Tomatoes are actually a fruit. They also are made of 95% water, which means they are REALLY helpful for supporting and maintaining our skin.
  • Bite right into that tomato even harder… Lycopene actually has properties which protect against UV rays– another skin win.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Servings: 6
Calories: 330kcal

Ingredients

For the Pasta Salad

  • 8 ounces chickpea pasta, cooked (we recommend Banza* Rotini)
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 ounces ciliegine mozzarella (mozzarella balls in water), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. 
  • In a medium bowl, combine oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. 
  • Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss to combine. Garnish with sliced basil, drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve cold.   

Notes

*Here are some tips while cooking Banza
  • Make sure you use enough (or even more) water as recommended on the box. To the water, add a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil before adding in the pasta.  
  • When making this as a cold pasta, add a couple minutes to the cooking process (for the Rotini, we cooked it for 9 minutes). 
  • Once pasta reaches your preferred texture, strain it, and rinse under water as you strain. Rinsing Banza after cooking removes the chickpea starch that forms during the cooking process.
 
NUTRITION INFORMATION (using Banza) Yield: 6 Servings 
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330, Total Fat: 20.4g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 270mg, Total Carbohydrates: 24.9g, Dietary Fiber: 6g, Total Sugars: 5.8g, Protein: 17.9g  

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

XO,

Amanda and Christina

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