Pasta with Mozzarella Balls Recipe

Can you hear the sizzle? Can you smell the aroma? Pasta with Mozzarella Balls – a salad that effortlessly blends simplicity and sensational flavor, making it the perfect companion for any gathering or celebration. I just love anything pasta and making varieties goes a long way with how my mom used to treat us to these types of dishes

And now the game is taken to another level to incorporate mozzarella balls, which changes this pasta and introduce some rich flavors. The best part? playing around with seasonings that bring the complete flavors!

Ingredients for Pasta with Mozzarella Balls

To make this mouthwatering dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:

1. Pasta: Choose your favorite type of pasta, such as penne, fusilli, or spaghetti. Aim for about 8 ounces of pasta, or adjust according to your preference.

2. Mozzarella balls: Opt for fresh or mini mozzarella balls, also known as bocconcini. These small, bite-sized mozzarella pieces add a creamy and cheesy element to the dish.

3. Cherry tomatoes: Add a burst of freshness with cherry tomatoes. These small, sweet tomatoes complement the mozzarella and pasta perfectly.

4. Fresh basil: Enhance the flavors with fragrant and aromatic fresh basil leaves. Tear or chop the basil leaves for added texture and taste.

5. Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for a rich and flavorful dressing.

6. Salt and pepper: Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste. These basic seasonings help bring out the flavors of the ingredients.

Optional ingredients:

Garlic: If you love garlic, feel free to mince or crush a clove

Different Types of Mozzarella Balls

You will often come across key varieties of mozzarella: fresh mozzarella and mozzarella di bufala. Each comes with its unique characteristics that can elevate your pasta with mozzarella balls.

  • Fresh Mozzarella: They, too, form as small balls, usually around the size of a cherry tomato, are usually made from cow’s milk, and have a lighter flavor. 
  • Mozzarella di Bufala: They are larger, made from buffalo milk, and have a robust, tangy flavor. 

Using Mozzarella Balls in Salads

  • Evenly distribute mozzarella balls through your pasta salad to ensure every bite is flavorful.
  • Marinate mozzarella balls in olive oil, herbs, and spices before adding to enhance their taste.
  • Opt for fresh mozzarella balls for the best texture and flavor.
  • Cutting larger mozzarella balls into smaller pieces can help distribute their creaminess more effectively.
  • To prevent them from turning tough, add mozzarella balls towards the end of your pasta salad preparation.
  • Mozzarella balls also pair well with tomatoes, basil, olives, and other common pasta salad ingredients.

Pasta: A Healthy Carbohydrate Option

When you top your pasta, decorate it strategically. The final toppings and sauces you choose to partner your pasta with can be a deciding factor in whether your meal leans towards healthful or not.

Opt for lean protein sources, abundant vegetables, and avoid drenching it in high-fat, high-sodium sauces.


different types of pasta

Finally, the serving size is key. Eating pasta doesn’t mean you need to OD on carbs. Keep your portions in check to reap the nutritional benefits without the excess calories. 

With controlled portions, paired alongside vegetables and lean protein like mozzarella balls, pasta can be an enjoyable part of a healthy lifestyle.

How to Make the Perfect Pasta with Mozzarella Balls

Here are some preparation tips to make your recipe stand out:

Cooking Pasta to Perfection

Achieving the ideal ‘al dente’ pasta consistency for your salad with mozzarella balls is easier than you imagine. The secret? Stirring. Keep stirring while it cooks, preventing stickiness.

Choose your pasta type wisely. Medium shapes like penne or fusilli hold up against mozzarella balls well. Their surfaces and grooves latch onto the dressing providing extra flavor in each bite.

The sauce secret is in the water. Once the pasta is done, reserve some cooking water before draining. The starchy water acts as a great thickener for your dressing leading to a creamy texture.

Don’t forget the cold rinse! After draining the pasta, a quick cold water rinse stops additional cooking. Result? Your pasta remains firm.

Preparing the Mozzarella Balls

Start by heating up your milk until it curdles. The crucial aspect here is in temperature control. Too hot, and you risk ruining your mozzarella balls. It’s all about balance.

After you’ve got your perfect curd, carefully strain out the whey. Stir the curd gently over low heat until they turn into molten blobs of creamy mozzarella. 

Give a final touch by dipping these warm mozzarella balls in cold water. This allows them to maintain their shape whilst enhancing a smooth texture. 

Choosing the Ideal Salad Dressing

Vinaigrettes or light lemon-based dressings can complement the pasta and cheese beautifully. On the other hand, a rich, creamy dressing might dampen these flavors.

Remember, whichever dressing you choose, balance is key. You wouldn’t want to drown your pasta and mozzarella balls in sauce. After all, this combination deserves a spotlight of its own.


yummy and delightful pasta with mozzarella balls

Serving Suggestions for Pasta Salads

Consider serving it cooled or at room temperature. This allows the flavors to meld together perfectly, enhancing your gastronomical experience. A tip? Place it in the refrigerator for a half-hour before serving.

To add that pearl in your pasta salad crown, gently sprinkle mozzarella balls on top rather than mixing.

Also, add some edible color to your dish. Toss in a handful of cherry tomatoes or vibrant bell peppers.

Complement your pasta salad with a side of garlic bread, or freshly baked focaccia. 

Pairing Pasta with Mozzarella Balls with Other Dishes

Consider a mildly flavored baked fish, making a perfect contrast for the robust pasta salad flavors.

Grilled chicken, adding a smoky taste while keeping the overall meal light. 

In the realm of vegetarian options, there’s no beating a hearty vegetable soup. The warm broth pairs excellently with the pasta’s cooler temperatures, creating an intriguing interplay of sensations.

Consider fresh tomato bruschetta. The acidic sweetness complements the creamy mozzarella, proving sometimes opposites indeed attract!

Finally, pairing with crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc can enhance your meal. These wines’ light body and acidity harmonize with the pasta with mozzarella balls.

Adding Fruits and Nuts for a Sweet Twist

Imagine, juicy strawberry slices, or tart apple chunks coupled with crunchy almonds or cashews interspersed in your pasta with mozzarella balls.

Adding fruits and nuts is more than just a taste upgrade. 

Think of raisins, or chewy dried apricots or consider the rich, buttery flavor of pecans or walnuts mixing with the pasta and mozzarella balls. 

How to Store Pasta with Mozzarella Balls

Properly storing pasta with mozzarella balls is essential to maintain its quality and prevent spoilage. If you have leftovers or want to prepare the dish in advance, follow these storage guidelines for the best results.

Firstly, allow the pasta to cool down to room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation from forming inside the container, which can lead to a soggy texture.


sweet and savory pasta with mozzarella balls dancing on a plate, full of flavor

Once cooled, transfer the pasta to an airtight container or sealable bag. Refrigeration is the preferred method for storing pasta with mozzarella balls.

By keeping it in the refrigerator, you can extend its shelf life and preserve its flavors. Consume the stored pasta within 2 to 3 days for optimal taste and texture.

Other pasta recipes you may not want to miss:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of cheese instead of mozzarella balls?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese like feta or goat cheese to add your own twist to the salad.

Can I make this salad in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the salad in advance and refrigerate it. Just make sure to add the basil leaves right before serving to keep them fresh and vibrant.

Can I customize the ingredients?

Of course! You can add or substitute ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Consider adding some grilled vegetables or roasted peppers.

pasta with mozzarella balls served on a plate

 Pasta with Mozzarella Balls

Chef Amelia
This refreshing salad option combines the goodness of pasta with the creaminess of mozzarella, creating a nutritious and delicious dish. Try it today!
3.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 614 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound dried pasta such as penne, rotini, or fusilli
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls drained and halved
  • balsamic vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, black olives, and torn basil leaves.
  • Add the cooked and cooled pasta to the bowl.
  • Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the ingredients.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Gently toss everything together until well combined.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mozzarella balls start to melt slightly and coat the pasta.
  • Remove from heat and let the salad rest for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Notes

When reheating, gently warm the pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through. If you need to store the pasta for a longer period, freezing is an option.
However, note that freezing may affect the texture of the mozzarella, causing it to become slightly grainy upon thawing. To freeze, place the pasta in a freezer-safe container or bag, ensuring all the air is removed to prevent freezer burn.
Consume the frozen pasta within 2 to 3 months for the best quality. When ready to enjoy the frozen pasta, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
Once thawed, reheat it gently using the microwave or stovetop until heated through. Remember to mix the pasta well to distribute the sauce and cheese evenly before serving.
Keyword mozzarella dishes, pasta with mozzarella balls, quick pasta recipes
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Chef Amelia
Chef Amelia

Amelia is a passionate chef who finds joy in trying out different cuisines and dishes and sharing her expertise with the world. She enjoys cooking and curating recipes so much!

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