Caprese pasta takes the triad of Caprese salad – tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella – and puts it to work with some pasta for a super easy (and refreshing) summer pasta.
Note that while you'll want to toss the pasta in the "sauce" of chopped tomatoes, olive oil, and mozzarella while it's still hot. Tossing it with the room temperature ingredients cools it off a bit and this dish is anything but oppressive on a hot night. This recipe creates a just-warm and not-too-hot meal on a night when other pasta dishes may sound a bit too cozy, which is perfect since you'll want the most flavorful, juiciest, ripest, in-season tomatoes you can find.
- 1 pound tomatoes (fresh, supremely ripe)
- Optional: 1 small clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 sprigs basil (fresh)
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (fresh)
- salt to taste
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- While the water comes to a boil, prepare the tomatoes: Halve the tomatoes crosswise, squeeze excess juice from the tomatoes into a bowl large enough to hold the pasta once it's cooked, chop the tomatoes, and add the chopped tomatoes to their juices in the bowl.
- Peel and mince the garlic if you want to use it, and add it to the tomatoes. Pour in the olive oil to tomatoes and toss to combine.
- Remove the leaves from the basil stems, stack them up, and cut them crosswise into ribbons. Add three-quarters of the basil to the tomatoes; set aside the rest to use as a garnish.
- Dice the mozzarella. Add half of the mozzarella to the tomatoes (it will melt a bit with the pasta) and reserve the rest to add at the end.
- Add enough salt to the boiling water to make it taste as salty as the sea (about 1 tablespoon salt to 2 quarts of water). Seriously, you want the water seasoned enough so that the pasta gets a bit of seasoning as it cooks and brings it to the whole dish.
- When the water boils, add the pasta and cook it until it's tender to the bite. Drain and quickly add the pasta to the the bowl with the tomato mixture in it. Toss well to combine everything thoroughly—the heat from the pasta will melt the cheese a bit, the pasta will absorb a bit of the tomato juices, and the tossing will help emulsify the tomato juice and olive oil into a real sauce.
- Divide the pasta between 4 to 6 servings bowls and top with the remaining mozzarella and garnish with the remaining basil.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||17 g|
|Saturated Fat||7 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||8 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|