Caprese Shells and Cheese Salad

Written by Paul Whitener Jr.
Yield: Approximately 7 ½ cups

It is time to take advantage of the foods coming from southern gardens. For me, this means finding new uses for basil in my kitchen, besides making pesto. This recipe combines two favorite dishes – caprese salad and macaroni and cheese. Serve it warm or cold – it tastes great either way!


  • ½ lb. dry whole wheat shells
  • 3 Tbsp. margarine
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 pint soy creamer
  • 4 oz. soy mozzarella style cheese, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 15 oz. can cannellini beans
  • 10.5 oz. cherry tomatoes, quartered (approx. 2 cups)
  • ½ cup chopped basil


  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta shells and boil according to package recommendations.
  2. In the meantime, melt margarine in a large skillet over medium high heat. When melted, add flour and garlic and stir to make a roux. Allow to brown slightly, but stir to avoid clumping. Gradually whisk in 1 pint of soy creamer, ½ cup at a time and allow to cook until a thick sauce forms. Add slices of soy cheese and stir with whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. When cooked, drain pasta and add to sauce. Toss in quartered cherry tomatoes, cannellini beans, and chopped basil.