Tomato Bocconcini Pasta is a quick and simple recipe made with rotini pasta tossed together with bocconcini, garden fresh cherry tomatoes, arugula, and fresh basil.
My family enjoys this recipe served warm as a main course, as well as a chilled pasta salad. Similar to an Italian Caprese salad, it tastes delicious served with Beer Can Chicken. Healthy, simple ingredients create a meatless dish that can be made in under 20 minutes! The combination of the mild flavor of bocconcini cheese, peppery arugula, fresh cherry tomatoes, and basil tossed together is delightful! The only seasoning that is needed is a splash of extra virgin olive oil, pink Himalayan salt, and fresh ground pepper.
Ingredients for making this fantastic pasta.
Rotini pasta - also known as corkscrew pasta is a great choice because the spirals trap in the seasoning.
Bocconcini - these semi-soft mozzarella cheese balls have a mild, creamy flavor that tastes amazing with fresh tomatoes. Fresh mozzarella slices can also be used.
Cherry Tomatoes - make sure to buy fresh, ripe cherry tomatoes. Any variety will work.
Basil - I grow basil year-round, it is one of my favorite herbs and you can't beat that fresh snipped flavor. Dried basil will not work in this recipe!
Arugula - arugula has a peppery, distinctive flavor that adds a great punch to this pasta recipe. I find baby arugula is the best tasting and you don't need to chop it.
Pink Himalayan Salt - this coarse grain salt is one I choose to use for seasoning simple dishes. Can you substitute with sea salt? Yes, as well as coarse grain Kosher salt.
Fresh Ground Pepper - fresh-ground has significantly more flavor than pre-ground.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - a light good quality olive oil is a must in this recipe to bring together all the flavors of the simple ingredients used in this recipe.
- Pasta - great substitutes are fusilli, penne, rigatoni or farfalle (bow-tie pasta).
- Bocconcini - fresh mozzarella balls or slices.
- Arugula - baby spinach, baby kale or watercress would make suitable substitutes for arugula.
- Pink Himalayan salt could be substituted with coarse sea salt or Kosher salt.
How to make Tomato Bocconcini Pasta
I serve this dish as a warm main course, but if you prefer you can also make the recipe into a cold pasta salad.
Cook pasta until al dente.
While pasta is cooking slice cherry tomatoes in halves and chop fresh basil.
I use small balls of bocconcini. If using larger balls, cut into bite sized chunks.
Drain pasta and while it is still hot toss together with arugula, tomatoes and basil.
Toss together with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Lastly drain the bocconcini, cube if necessary and toss into the pasta. If you add while the pasta is still very hot it will melt the cheese into globs.
This post was originally published on June 27, 2015. Occasionally I update with fresh tips, content, and photos. Current update April 28, 2021.
Tomato Bocconcini Pasta
- 4 cups rotini pasta
- 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup bocconcini cheese
- 2 cups fresh baby arugula
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt
- ¾ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Cook pasta until al dente.
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
- Chop basil leaves.
- Cut bocconcini into bite size pieces.
- Drain pasta well, and while still hot add arugula, tomatoes and basil.
- Add olive and toss together until well combined.
- Season with Pink Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Stir in bocconcini.
- Serve warm.