Caprese Shell Pasta

I have been craving a Caprese Salad for weeks!

Caramelized onion, garlic & petite tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella, Olive oil & Parmesan Cheese Blend
Add cooked Pasta & 1/3 cup pasta water
Chopped Mozzarella & Fresh Basil
Mix pasta & pasta water and a little pepper flakes
Just added fresh basil & turned up heat

We talk about this all the time since we are growing basil, tomatoes and ALWAYS have fresh mozzarella on hand.  Our dear friend in Eugene OR, took me to a place with the best Balsamic Vinegar in the world.  I mean it, hands down!  Made by “Olive Grand” and she bought me a bottle of the “traditional Style”.  I believe you can by it online.  Use a very good quality Balsamic whatever you do :)This started as my project as I just drove for 4 1/2 hours from Las Vegas and am exhausted but hungry so here is what my taste buds required today.  Caprese, but also pasta and of course…GARLIC!  I have to say I may be addicted to garlic. Oh and caramelized onions.  So much you can do with those 2 items.  So here it is as it evolved after I searched the refrigerator.

It was delicious!!!

Caprese Shell Pasta

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Main Dish, Enteree


  • 1 Large sweet onion (Sliced)
  • 5 or more chopped garlic ()I had 7 cloves easy!)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 can Petite chopped tomatoes or 1 cup chopped fresh (Drained)
  • Hand full Fresh Basil Leaves (ONLY FRESH)
  • 4 oz Chopped fresh Mozzarella
  • Parmesan cheese blend or your choice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Shell pasta or other tubular pasta such as rigatoni
  • Very good Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle (Spend on this and you will use it on everything, I swear!)


  1. Heat butter and olive oil in large shallow pan over medium heat, Add sliced onions and heat until they start to brown, then reduce heat and let them cook down for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes on medium low heat as not to burn garlic, you only want it to soften. Add the drained tomatoes and stir to heat through.
  2. At the same time you add the garlic, Cook your pasta (shell or other shape) for about 2 min under “Al dente” ( you will be adding this to the onion mixture with 1/3 cup or more pasta and it will continue to cook for a few minutes).
  3. Add to the onion, garlic and tomatoes along with 1/3 cup reserved pasta water. ( you may want to add more depending how “saucy” you want)
  4. At this time add some salt & pepper and as I do to everything, a little red pepper flakes.
  5. Heat together for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Lower heat to Low and add half of the chopped basil. Stir.
  6. Time to plate the pasta. After you have placed pasta in serving dish, add more chopped basil, fresh Parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella. Drizzle with Balsamic.
  7. Serve and Enjoy

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