Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese

Some of the best things to eat during the summer are simple pasta salads. They are so light, healthy and delicious in an almost subtle manner – as such Insalata Caprese epitomises the summer pasta salad. I realise this dish doesn’t usually include pasta, but I thought rather than having it as a starter it would be better to bulk it out and really enjoy its deliciousness as a lunch, or indeed as a light dinner. This was my exact thought process as over the past few days I’ve had rather meaty meals like cawl and fragrant chicken curry – a dish which I’m considering “re-mastering”. As such I wanted a meal that was light, tasty and vegetarian – this seemed the ideal candidate.

I must admit this dish is really very simple, but there are a couple of “tips” I feel I must divulge. First of all, as with my recent rocket and poached egg salad, when making this one really shouldn’t over do the lemon as it may disguise the mozzarella, the flavour of which is incredibly subtle. The juice is only there to add a slight tang to the overall flavour of the dish in order to add that extra depth of flavour. Actually, on the topic of mozzarella, I advise against buying low fat or exceedingly cheap cheese because the flavour just won’t come through. Secondly, please don’t hold back on the olive oil as there is nothing quite so frustrating as an under-dressed salad – olive oil is delicious, please treat it as such. Having said that, remember that just because olive oil is delicious, no one wants to drown in the stuff.

Finally, I was wondering if anyone had any challenges of frugality for me. By that I mean does anyone have a dish they challenge me to make for less than £2 per portion? I think perhaps it would be healthy for someone to test my frugal credentials, would keep me on the ball!

Insalata Caprese {recipe}

Serves 4


• 400g pasta, penne, fusilli or something similar

• 3-4 large vine tomatoes, roughly chopped with the seeds removed

• 125g ball of mozzarella, cubed

• Handful of basil, torn

• One good slug of olive oil

• Squeeze of lemon

• Seasoning, be fairly generous


1. Pop the pasta on to boil. Chop all the ingredients and put in a large bowl, add the oil, lemon and season well. When the pasta is cooked drain it and rinse it through with water until cold. Add the pasta to the other ingredients and mix well. It will keep for a day or so in the fridge.

Cost: The salad for four will cost around £2.80 to make. This is really worth it because although it is very light and delicate it is very filling and tasty. I highly recommend it.

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29 comments on “Insalata Caprese

  1. Annie
    August 21, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Looks delicious. I’m a HUGE pasta fan.
    What seasoning did you use exactly?

  2. ChgoJohn
    August 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Insalata caprese is a fave fo mine this time of the year. Adding penne makes the dish a main course item. Great idea & recipe!

  3. Lifestyle - Food - Fashion
    August 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

    It is indeed a summer delight!! 🙂 Looks yumm!!

    Salads are so light…and one can play around with the choice of dressing and veggies for a brilliant result. Isn’t?

  4. Necessity is the Mother of Invention
    August 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I just too a peek at your blog and love the simple photos and clean recipes. thanks for your comment.

  5. nadel&gabel
    August 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    One of my summer favourites as well! I will actually have it today with slowly roasted tomatoes and a nice ciabatta. As you are looking for frugal dishes, I can also recommend to make your own mozarella cheese (

  6. daisy
    August 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Very nice blog! I’ll be trying some of your recipes, especially the British ones. You’ll probably see them featured, with proper credit of course, on my blog.


    • frugalfeeding
      August 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks so much! I HIGHLY recommend the English custard tart. Nice to “meet” you daisy.

      • daisy
        August 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm

        The English custard tart is the one I was thinking of trying first.

        • frugalfeeding
          August 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm

          Awesome! You won’t be sorry, just make sure to refrigerate it before you eat it.

  7. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    August 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Such a perfect summer pasta!

  8. Patti
    August 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I can eat pasta salad all year round!

  9. booksandbowls
    August 24, 2011 at 3:27 am

    Hi there, I’m a college student so simple things like this are definitely what I’m looking for, quite inspiring! and your pictures are really lovely. I just started my own vegetarian blog, so I’m totally new to this but if you have a sec please check it out 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      August 24, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Thanks so much. Good luck with the blogging I shall check it out.

  10. bitsandbreadcrumbs
    August 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    A beautiful and delicious (and frugal) classic!

  11. vannemerf
    August 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I LOVE penne! Besides linguine, it is my favourite pasta!! Penne comes first when it is time for a late sunday night movie indulgence 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      August 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      I have some linguine in the cupboard waiting to paired with some ricotta which is in my fridge… stay tuned. Penne is proper comfort pasta.

  12. sunkix4
    September 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Yum!! Looks delicious!

  13. Eric
    September 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Is there anything that isn’t improved with basil and moz? Mmm.

    • frugalfeeding
      September 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      Umm… probably quite a few things… but I agree 😛

  14. clairedobo
    September 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Ah ha! I knew I’d find something I have the ingredients for. Can’t wait to try this with my fresh kiseo! I’m drowning in cheese right now so I needed this. It looks lami kaayo (very delicious)!

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