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Pasta Caprese in a frying pan.
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5 from 2 votes

Pasta Caprese Recipe – tomato mozzarella basil pasta

Light summer dinner, ready in about 20 minutes, it’s all you need on a hot summer day!
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 716kcal
Author Aleksandra


  • 6.5 oz fusilli pasta (185g)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4 medium tomatoes 1 lb (450g)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or to taste
  • a few tablespoons pasta cooking water
  • 7 oz mozzarella (200g) preferably mozzarella di bufala
  • a small handful of fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta al dente (it should have a little bite to it but be cooked through). Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water (!).
  • Place the tomatoes in a large bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice a shallow X into the bottom of tomatos. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, leave them for a minute in hot water, then drain. Peel the tomatoes and cut into ½ inch (1.5 cm) cubes.
  • Peel and cut the garlic into thin slices.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan, add the garlic, cook over medium heat for about a minute.
  • Add the tomatoes with their juices, pasta cooking water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes form a sauce but are still chunky.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, add the cooked pasta, torn into small pieces mozzarella, and basil leaves. Toss everything together, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy!



  • Important tips:
    • pasta should be cooked al dente
    • use fresh, summer, ripe tomatoes
    • use olive oil and butter or just olive oil
    • the best for this dish is mozzarella di bufala, it's really worth buying it! do not use low-moisture (yellow) mozzarella
    • don't omit the lemon zest and juice
  • You could also add pan-fried chicken or shrimp to this dish. You could season them with Italian herbs and garlic powder.
  • If you forgot to reserve pasta cooking water, you can add corn starch slurry to the sauce by stirring 1/8 tsp of corn starch with 1 Tbsp of cold water.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/2 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!


Calories: 716kcal