So it is no real secret I’ve been a total slug since my surgery, which translates into many hours of watching the Food Network.

Of all the hours I’ve spent watching, this is the one recipe that caught my attention and I could not stop thinking about it until I made it.

So I dragged myself out of bed, begged my husband to go to the store to get some pasta and mozzarella and we whipped up this meal, which is quite an accomplishment in itself since I haven’t made a single thing besides cold cereal in weeks.

Don’t let the fancy name scare you – it is basically pasta thrown together with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella in garlic and olive oil and was on Giada’s “Cooking for Beginners” episode which should give you some indication of how easy it really is to make this.

Was it worth it? Well, I am not exaggerating when I say this is the best pasta dish I have eaten in months – and I’ve eaten a lot of great pasta dishes.

Oh my, it was tremendous – the fresh mozzarella cheese was perfect with the right-out-of-the-garden basil and tomatoes.

Honestly, I know I say this a lot in relation to recipes I post on here, but I could eat this every night of my life and be a very happy (and probably very chubby) woman. Fast and so delicious!

What To ServeApple Stuffed Chicken BreastsBroiled Parmesan and  Lemon Chicken, or Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken
A simple green salad (or for something more fancy this Gourmet Green Salad)
Fresh, seasonal fruit

Fusilli alla Caprese

Fusilli alla Caprese


  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes.
  3. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.

Recipe Source: from Giada De Laurentiis

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31 Responses to Fusilli alla Caprese

  1. Tami says:

    We just had this for dinner. My son, who is not a tomato fan, really liked it! Thanks so much!

  2. Megan says:

    I used Roma’s tomatoes since cherry tomatoes were so spendy. They worked out perfectly. This is the most delicious meal, and so simple. I am not sold on the mozzarella, but my hubby is, so in it goes! This one will be in permanent rotation at our house. Can’t wait for tomato season!

  3. Danielle H. says:

    This recipe is way more delish than the simple list of ingredients sounds! Oh so yummy! I also love that my master-chef obsessed daughters (age 6 and 8) could make it with only minimal assistance from me. “Restaurant quality,” to quote Gordon Ramsey.

  4. Shellice Maraccini says:

    I am astonished that this recipe doesn’t have more rave reviews. I came upon it by accident while I was searching for the chili mac recipe (that is OH MY FREAKING GOD SO GOOD) to make again last weekend. So of course I had to slip it in to my week night dinner plans. Cheese and pasta. Duh. Can I just say that it was freaking amazing. Even it’s simplicity is amazing. Everything about this screams amazing. Mmmmmm Mmmmmm mmmmmmm. Delish!!

  5. Siena says:

    When I saw this, I was so surprised! A friend of mine is a chef and he makes almost the same recipe at his restaurant, except he splits the cheese as: 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella and 3/4 cup asiago cheese. It is delicious:)

  6. Shannon says:

    I made this tonight and it was so good. The only thing that was a bit different was that I had to use that basil herb blend that comes in a tube…I don’t know if you’ve seen it. It’s essentially chopped up organic basil that has a bit of oil or some sort of preservative in it and you squeeze it out, and it’s like a paste. When I went grocery shopping, they were out of fresh basil today but had this, so that’s what went in! It made the pasta taste very pesto-like, which was great. I think next time I make this I will add in pine nuts for a different texture, and some grilled chicken.

  7. Erin says:

    Good to see you cooking again! Can’t wait to try this out. You’ve sold me.

  8. Melanie says:

    KA – oh, so glad you liked this…and I agree, the leftovers are fantastic, too. Thanks for letting me know it was a success.

  9. Foodycat says:

    How can something that simple look so very delicious? Thanks for posting that!

  10. Steph says:

    I have about 10 ripe tomatoes in my garden just waiting to be put in a dish like this! Thanks!

  11. Arundathi says:

    wow – that looks totally up my alley! thanks – will try it!

  12. Melanie Anne says:

    Mmm–I have cherry tomatoes in my garden and fresh mozzerella in the fridge! I am going to make this for sure! Glad to see you back to cooking. I hope are feeling better everyday!

  13. Katie says:

    this looks very yummy and fresh – a perfect august meal with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil – yum! hope you continue to feel better. sometimes i enter sloth mode for no reason.

  14. KA says:

    I’m eating leftovers of this as I type. DELICIOUS! I love caprese anything….THANKS for this!

  15. Patsyk says:

    Good to see you are cooking again!With those ingredients it’s no wonder you couldn’t stop thinking about it! I think even my boys would gobble this one up!

  16. Erin says:

    We had this last night and it was yummy. I added three Lemon Grilled Marinated chicken breasts, and all the cooked marinade/juices (just less than 1/2 cup) instead of the pasta water. It was so great! I didn’t measure the garden tomatoes – I only had six and I think it would be about 3 cups, but next time I will add a lot more. I just love that delicious garden tomato taste! The fresh mozzarella MADE this dish – It was salty and delicious.

  17. Deborah says:

    I’ve got tomatoes coming out of my ears right now, and now I know just how I’m going to use some of them!

  18. Leigh Anne Wilkes says:

    My husband is out of town this week and is on a diet where he can’t eat pasta so guess what we are having for dinner while he’s gone! Can’t wait to try it. A great way to use some of those cherry tomatoes going crazy in the garden. Hope you’re feeling better!

  19. Susan says:

    I love Giada’s recipes and this is a great way to use the Juliette tomatoes in our garden.

  20. Sharona May says:

    That looks wonderful and I am a huge fan of mozzarella, basil and tomato anything. Sharona May

  21. Melanie says:

    Erin and Julianne – hey cute family – thanks for trying out this recipe and letting me know you liked it. Don’t you think the fresh mozzarella makes all the difference?? Thanks for letting me know you liked it.

  22. Ryan and Julianne says:

    Whoops, I said “cute” the basil leaves smaller. Ummm…I mean “cut”. Right.

  23. Lisa says:

    Fresh moz and pasta…oh yum! Feel better!

  24. Psychgrad says:

    Looks great! You can’t go wrong with simple, fresh ingredients.

  25. Ryan and Julianne says:

    Oh dear…this was so good. We made this last night. The only thing we would have changed would be to cute the basil leaves smaller…maybe I was supposed to do that in the first place, but didn’t, so we got a few larger-than-we-liked leaves. But the fresh basil and mozerella were SO good. Ooohh..getting a little doodle of mozerella and basil and tomato and pasta all in the same bite…yum. Yum.

  26. Neen says:

    Yum. Isn’t it great how a really easy recipe becomes absolutely fabulous when the ingredients are outrageously good? In season tomatoes, fresh basil, and you almost don’t have to do anything to them! Perfect for an easing-your-way back into the kitchen meal.

  27. Emily says:

    Looks like a pasta high to me! Yum-E!

  28. grace says:

    this just screams <>freshness<>. and <>delicious<>, but that goes without saying since it’s coming from your blog. 🙂very nice, and i hope you continue to get better. 🙂

  29. Beth says:

    Oohh! This looks amazing. I have bookmarked this one

  30. maris says:

    This is right up my alley! There are few better combinations IMO than tomato and mozzarella

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