pasta caprese

Hello there!

It’s been a while. The hiatus I took was much longer than intended.

In those past years, I have been taking thousands of food pictures, I’ve been editing dozens of recipe videos and dreamt of revamping this blog, dreamt of starting again. Alas, I lacked the courage, the time, the energy and sometimes the skills to get going again. I was unsure of how to approach new posts, kept overthinking just about everything, got frustrated with getting tags and cookie banners to work and – in all the mess that the past years have been for so many of us – ended up giving up.

A few months back, an absolutely amazing, smart and kind friend of mine helped me a lot with the technical side of this blog. Now all I needed was some time. And energy. And a little bit of inspiration. Which is sometimes easier said than done, right? I just knew: I wanted to be back in time for my favourite time of the year: autumn and winter, with all the holidays I love so much.

So here I am again, trying.

plate of pasta with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella

I was thinking of starting this first new posts with apologies and explanations, but really: who would I be apologizing to? Myself. We’ve all been there, I suppose. I’m happy with my life, but it is sometimes a challenge and my job, as much as I love it, tends to devour my resources. Many of us get overwhelmed from time to time. And in the end: real life, work and human relationships will be more important than a blog.

So, I won’t apologize. And I can’t promise this won’t happen again. But I can try to get started. I can try to be consistent. And in the end, nobody who ends up here comes to read apologies or long explanations. If you’re here, you’re here for recipes.

So, a recipe it is!
Before (hopefully) the festivities of Halloween and Christmas will take over here, and as summer comes to an end, we will start with a light pasta dish. Something super easy and super quick. This feels appropriate, somehow.

a bowl of pasta

The following pasta caprese recipe isn’t even a proper recipe. It’s something I learnt from an old friend of mine who has lived in Italy for some part of her life and who showed me that sometimes, the simple dishes can be the most delicious. We will use just a few, simple ingredients, throw them together and get a light, but delicious pasta dinner. It’s perfect for hot summer days or evenings. It’s perfect if you have guests over. It’s perfect for busy weekdays as a quick, but satisfying meal after work. And in the end, it’s basically just a hot pasta salad.

pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil on a black plate

We’ll only need pasta, cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, olive oil and simple spices. That’s all. The better the quality of your ingredients, the better the dish will be. You can use regular tomatoes as well, but the aromatic sweetness of good quality cherry tomatoes just hits different. The same goes for the olive oil you use: the better your olive oil, the better your dish.

ingredients for a simple and quick pasta caprese

Now, I said this isn’t necessarily a recipe, and it’s true. I will give you the amounts of ingredients I use, but you can adjust the quantities to your liking:

Cheese lover? Add some more mozzarella to your pasta caprese!

Some of your cherry tomatoes you bought turned out to be mouldy? No problem, just use less.

You don’t like watery sauces? Just use less of the reserved pasta water.

Not a fan of spicy? Omit the chili flakes.

Or use more. Just go nuts!

See how easy this is?

Pasta Caprese


(yields 2 really big or 3 regular portions)

  • 250 g (about 1 ½ cups) pasta of your choice, uncooked (I use rigatoni)
  • 200-250 g (about 1 ½ cups) cherry tomatoes
  • 250 g (about 8 oz) mozzarella
  • 25-30 g (about packed 1 cup) fresh basil leaves
  • 60 ml (about 4 tablespoons) of good quality olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of chili flakes (or more, if you like)

For the pasta caprese wash your cherry tomatoes and cut them in 3-4 slices each. You can also cut them into halves or quarters, depending on the size of your tomatoes and your preference.

Dice your mozzarella into small cubes.

Wash, dry and chop your basil leaves.

Cook your pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the package or until al dente.

Just before your pasta is done cooking, reserve about a cup of the pasta water. If you prefer a less watery consistency, use about ¾ of a cup or less.

Transfer diced mozzarella, cherry tomatoes slices and chopped basil into a large bowl.

Add the olive oil, chili flakes, salt and pepper and mix well. I prefer a slightly spicy pasta, so I am generous with the chili flakes and pepper, but if you enjoy mild flavours just use less. However, be careful with the use of salt in this step. The reserved pasta water will also add salt to this dish. If you are unsure of how much salt to use, it’s better to add less salt now and adjust the saltiness to your tase once all ingredients are mixed together.

Once it is al dente drain your pasta, but do not rinse. We will need the starch of the pasta and in the pasta water to bind the ingredients.

Transfer the still hot pasta and the reserved pasta water into your bowl and mix with the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Adjust spices and salt to your liking and serve immediately.

And that’s it, really.


cherry tomato slices, mozzarella cubes and basil

cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil

a white bowl filled with rigatoni, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil

auf Deutsch, bitte:

  • 250 g Pasta nach Wahl (ich benutze Rigatoni)
  • 200-250 g Cherrytomaten
  • 250 g (etwa 2 Stück) Mozzarella
  • 25-30 g (etwa 1 Bund) frische Basilikumblätter
  • 60 ml (etwa 4 EL) Olivenöl guter Qualität
  • Salz und Pfeffer nach Geschmack
  • eine Prise Chili-Flocken (oder mehr)

Für die Pasta Caprese die Cherrytomaten waschen und jeweils in drei bis vier Scheiben schneiden. Alternativ und nach Geschmack können sie je nach Größe auch halbiert oder geviertelt werden.

Den Mozzarella würfeln.

Die Basilikumblätter waschen, trocknen und hacken oder in feine Streifen schneiden.

Als nächstes die Pasta nach Anleitung auf der Verpackung kochen oder bis sie al dente ist.

Kurz bevor die Nudeln fertig sind etwa eine Tasse des Nudelwassers abschöpfen und für später beiseite stellen. Für eine weniger wässrige Sauce genügt auch ¾ einer Tasse oder weniger.

In der Zwischenzeit Cherrytomaten, Mozzarellawürfel und gehackten Basilikum in eine Schüssel geben.

Nun werden Olivenöl, Chili-Flocken, Salz und Pfeffer hinzu gegeben. Einmal gut durchmischen. Ich persönlich mag die Pasta etwas schärfer, aber wer ein milderes Aroma bevorzugt, benutzt einfach weniger Pfeffer und Chili. In diesem Schritt mit dem Salz vorsichtig sein. Das Nudelwasser selbst wird auch noch Salz zu dem Gericht hinzu geben. Im Zweifelsfall hier lieber weniger Salz benutzen und kurz vor dem Servieren nachsalzen.

Sobald die Pasta al dente ist wird diese durch ein Sieb gegeben, aber nicht abgeschreckt. Die Stärke der Pasta hilft, die Sauce und Zutaten etwas zu binden.

Jetzt die heiße Pasta und das Nudelwasser in die Schüssel mit den restlichen Zutaten geben und gut mischen. Noch einmal abschmecken und sofort servieren.

Und das war’s auch schon!

a bowl with pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil

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