Delicious orecchiette pasta combined with tomatoes, mozzarella and herb red wine dressing is a perfect pasta side salad full of Caprese flavors that tastes great days to come!
I have broken down this pasta salad into a few steps – prepping the pasta, making the dressing, and combining together with the lovely cherry tomatoes.
Please scroll to the very bottom for an easy to print condensed version on this recipe if you do not need as much instruction. Watching the recipe video also helps so you can really see it come together!
Orecchiette Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella Pearls
- 12 oz. box of orecchiette pasta
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz. Mozzarella Pearls, separated
Start by boiling orecchiette pasta, al dente, according to box instructions. I always add a bit of olive oil to boiling pasta to help pieces from sticking.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and set aside
Remove mozzarella from packaging, separate pearls, and set aside in a bowl.
While pasta is boiling, move on to prepping dressing as noted below.
Fresh Herb Vinaigrette with Basil and Red Wine Vinegar
To make fresh herb vinaigrette (this recipe can be doubled for more saturated salad)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 14th cup chives, snipped into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley
- 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Combine ingredients together in a bowl and let sit in bowl for approximately 30 minutes, or while you prepare the pasta.
Orecchiette Caprese Pasta Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
Once pasta is done and herb dressing is prepared, the pasta salad can be assembled.
Combine cooked pasta, cut tomatoes, mozzarella pearls and herb vinaigrette and stir well.
This pasta is delicious warm OR cold.
Best Substitute for Orecchiette Pasta
When it comes to pasta salads, you can easily substitute pastas like Orecchiette for other shaped pastas. I don’t necessarily recommend it, because this pasta is perfect to grab the herbs and capers, but if you do not have it available near you (my local publix sells it).
- Large or Medium Shaped Shells – used in creamy pasta salads like Seafood Pasta Salad or Antipasto Salad. Small pasta shaped shells are used in salads like Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad.
- Bow Ties
- You could easily use Rotini or other round pastas, they just wont “scoop” the herb vinaigrette well inside the shell. Still very common in pasta salads like Italian Pasta Salad and TriColor Pasta Salad.