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Caprese Pasta Salad with Balsamic Cream Sauce

a Savored Grace original
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword balsamic, basil, cheese, cookout, pasta, summer, tomatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • ½ lb. short pasta, such as bowties, penne, or corkscrews
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely diced shallot (from 1 small shallot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup fresh grated parmesan
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 20 basil leaves*, thinly slivered


  • Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the shallots to caramelize.
  • When the shallots are tender and beginning to turn brown, add the balsamic vinegar and stir for 2–3 minutes, allowing the vinegar to thicken slightly.
  • Stir in the cream and the parmesan. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Drain the pasta. Toss with the balsamic cream sauce. 
  • Stir in the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.


This pasta can be served warm or cool.
*Basil will brown quickly after it is sliced. For brightest color, chop and add basil to the pasta just before serving.
Consider adding thinly sliced baby spinach to amp up the greens and nutrients!