I love summertime. For me, it’s all about quick, easy, fresh and delicious. This pasta dish is the epitome of summer because it highlights one of my favorite summer veggies: tomatoes! This year, we planted like 5 or 6 different varieties of tomatoes. . we just went a little crazy and plan to make lots of salsa and tomato sauce! My tomatoes aren’t ready yet so I picked up these beautiful red and yellow tomatoes from the store. . . and combined my two loves: a caprese salad and linguine pasta.
With this dish I wanted to show you that a recipe doesn’t have to be complicated in order for it to be delicious. And it doesn’t have to require a ton of ingredients. Most of the time, if you just use fresh, quality ingredients, you will get perfection.
Perfection in a bowl.
I started with three quality ingredients: fresh tomatoes, fresh Wisconsin mozzarella and great tasting, good quality olive oil.
These three ingredients make this dish so don’t skimp on anything here. For the tomatoes, I opted for a tomato medley. I love seeing the different colored tomatoes and if you want to splurge, buy some heirloom tomatoes. . ah, delicious! And for the mozzarella, make sure you get fresh mozzarella. Next time, I will splurge and pick up some burrata!
For my extra virgin olive oil, I used one from Pompeian’s varietals collection: their Koroneiki. Absolutely delicious! “From one of the world’s most recognized olives, Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil is full-bodied with robust fruitiness and a sensation of fresh cut grass leading to a peppery finish.”
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting in on an Olive Oil Tasting 101 webcast with Pompeian Olive Oil.
Dr. Luisito Cercaci, their VP of Product Quality and Research and Development at Pompeian led the webcast. He is an expert on olive oil and it’s his job to make sure that Pompeian only bottles the highest quality extra virgin olive oil and that they continue to meet their purity and quality standards. I also learned that Pompeian is the oldest olive oil company in the United States! They have been around since 1906 and are continuing to improve their processes, get better and above all, make sure they have a quality product on the shelf.
I’ve actually participated in an olive oil tasting before so I knew what to do and what to look for. You swirl the olive oil around in your cup in your hands to warm it up a bit. Place one hand under the cup and the other covering the cup as you move it around in your hands. Once it’s warmer, you then smell it so you can smell the flavor; if someone were testing this olive oil, they would be able to tell if there was a defect or not, and then very slowly, you begin sipping and moving the olive oil with your tongue.
We tasted six different olive oils and were able to select the one we wanted to use in our recipes. I chose one of their Varietals, the Koroneiki. For me, this extra virgin olive oil had such a lovely, mild taste. The Koroneiki is perfect for pasta, soups and salads. I also loved the Picholine, which is a medium-bodied olive oil with a green fruitiness, hints of herbs and a nice balance of bitterness, with a clean and light finish. This one is great for meats and sauces. I’m definitely going to pick up a bottle of this one for next time!
You guys, this summer caprese pasta salad was so delicious! My kids ate just the pasta (with the lemon olive oil dressing) and loved it! I, on the other hand, ate this entire bowl within minutes. It was so good. Fresh tasting, flavorful and light. I think I just might have to always eat my pasta this way this summer.
So, the next time you are throwing together a meal, think about the quality of the ingredients you are using and if I piqued your interest, check out Pompeian’s website store locator to see where you can find yourself a bottle of their Koroneiki. I hope you enjoyed!
Summer Caprese Pasta Salad
Author: Hip Foodie Mom
Recipe type: Main
- ½ lb. linguine pasta
- juice from ¼ lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 heaping tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil (I used Pompeian’s Koroneiki)
- season with salt and pepper
- fresh mozzarella, sliced
- variety yellow and red tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
- fresh basil, thinly sliced
- optional: balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the dry linguine pasta and cook linguine to al dente (follow package instructions). Drain, rinse and place the pasta into a large mixing bowl.
- Using a separate, small mixing bowl, add in the lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust any ingredients as necessary. Pour the olive oil mixture over the pasta and mix well.
- To plate: add your pasta to a shallow bowl, top with the fresh mozzarella slices, layer on the tomatoes and garnish with the fresh basil. Drizzle on a touch more olive oil, season with salt and pepper and drizzle on some balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze if desired.
This pasta did not even really need it, but I had to try this dish with some balsamic glaze (you can simply splash on some balsamic vinegar). This enhances the dish very nicely. You have to give this recipe a try!
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Pompeian’s Blogger Ambassador Program and Pompeian Pantry Insiders. I was compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for allowing me to work with brands that I love, use and support.