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This fresh Margherita pasta comes together quickly. It's full of juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and a couple more simple ingredients to yield the most flavorful summertime dish. Plus, it's dairy-free, vegan, and can easily be made gluten-free.
Margherita pizza is great and all, but have you ever had Margherita pasta?
There's not much that compares to ripe, juicy summer tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella. Add these ingredients to a bowl of spaghetti drizzled with olive oil and a hint of balsamic and you've just created magic.
It's fresh and light yet comforting, and it's a great reminder that less is often more when it comes to food. Especially when you cook with seasonal produce.
It doesn't take much effort to create loads of flavor. Just a few simple ingredient pairings and light seasoning, and you're well on your way to an incredible dish.
- spaghetti - regular or gluten-free depending on your needs
- pasta sauce - any you like
- fresh basil
- mozzarella - (for dairy-free, I highly recommend making my vegan mozzarella cheese ahead of time)
- juicy ripe tomatoes - cherry, grape, heirloom, etc.
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar (optional, but recommended)
- flakey salt
How to Make Margherita Pasta
Cook your spaghetti according to the package's directions. Set aside a couple of tablespoons of the cooked pasta water and drain the noodles.
Add the drained noodles back in the pot along with a couple tablespoons of the pasta sauce. Toss together until lightly coated. If your sauce is too thick, you can add a little of the saved pasta water, mix, and add to your serving bowls.
Freely top each bowl of pasta with pieces of fresh mozzarella, sliced fresh tomatoes, and torn basil leaves. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top and add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season with flakey salt, and enjoy!
Helpful Tips & Notes
Don't forget to salt your pasta water
It helps infuse flavor into your pasta instead of just sitting on top of it.
Not Too Saucy
You want just enough pasta sauce to coat the noodles so they aren’t dry, but it shouldn’t be saucy. How much you add will depend on how much pasta you cook, so just eyeball it and start small with a couple of tablespoons and add more as needed.
Use your hands
When it comes time to add the basil and mozzarella, use your hands to tear them both. Sometimes using a knife can bruise the basil causing it to blacken. Using your hands will also give it that more rustic look.
I prefer to break the cheese up with my hands as well. This helps to better disperse it throughout the pasta.
Save Some Pasta Water
The pasta water is full of starchy goodness that you can use to thin out the pasta sauce if you need a more cohesive sauce. Use about a tablespoon or two at most.
Just a splash of vinegar
Although this is totally optional, I recommend using just a splash of high-quality balsamic vinegar. This helps to really enhance the flavors.
No Measurements Needed
There are no measurements because it's all based on taste and how much pasta you're using. Plus it's more fun to cook this way. One pound of pasta serves 4 large-sized servings, so cook accordingly.
More Italian Recipes
Margherita Pasta (Dairy-Free)
- ¼-1 pound spaghetti noodles see notes above
- pasta sauce
- fresh basil leaves, torn
- vegan mozzarella, broken into pieces or regular
- tomatoes, cut into small pieces cherry, grape, heirloom, etc.
- extra virgin olive oil, drizzle
- balsamic vinegar, splash
- Cook your spaghetti according to the package's directions. Set aside a couple tablespoons of the cooked pasta water and drain the noodles.
- Add the drained noodles back in the pot along with a couple tablespoons of the pasta sauce. Toss together until lightly coated. If your sauce is too thick, you can add a little of the saved pasta water, mix, and add to your serving bowls.
- Freely top each bowl of pasta with pieces of fresh mozzarella, sliced fresh tomatoes, and torn basil leaves. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
- Season with flakey salt, and enjoy!