Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer Caprese Pasta

It's been a week since Small One moved and so far she is loving Pittsburgh!  Pittsburgh was my nearest "big city" for the first 22 years of my life (and my home for 3 glorious months after college) and I'll be the first one to tell you there is a lot to love about that town.  I'm definitely missing her back here in Philadelphia though, so when it was announced that this week's theme for the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange was pasta, I knew just what to make!

Last year, in the heart of tomato season, Small One invited a couple of us over to try her very favorite pasta dish that her mom (Small Mom) makes every summer when the tomatoes are at their ripest.  Its a super simple dish with next to no seasoning that lets all of the bold summer flavors be the star of the show.

If you want some more super fab tomato pasta recipes, check out the host sites Gimme Some Oven and Bake Your Day.  This week is sponsored by Pappardelle's Pasta and Recipe's For Change so don't be afraid to show them your love as well :)

-1/2 pound short grain pasta (we used gemelli)
-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
-3 large, ripe beefsteak tomatoes
-1 oz of basil (a big bunch)
-8 oz fresh mozzarella balls
-2 Tbs of olive oil
-2 tsp kosher or sea salt

-Grilled Chicken
-Fresh parmeasan cheese

Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta according to package instructions.  When done, drain the pasta and allow it to cool for a few minutes, just until it stops steaming.

As soon as you put the water on to boil, start preparing your veggies.  Mince 2 cloves of garlic very finely and add them to the bottom of a large bowl.  Since the garlic won't be cooked in this recipe, it is extremely important to make sure you chop it as finely as possible--a hunk of raw garlic will definitely ruin your bite!  Cut the tomatoes into bite sized pieces and add them to the bowl.  Next, rough chop the basil and add it to the bowl as well.  Finally, halve or quarter (depending on their size) the fresh mozzarella balls and add them to the bowl. Sprinkle the vegetables with a teaspoon of kosher salt or sea salt (less if you are using table salt) and mix everything together with a wooden spoon.  Allow the ingredients to rest for at least a half hour for the flavors to combine.  I found that the amount of time it took for the water to boil, and the pasta to cook and cool was the perfect amount of time for the vegetable mixture to sit.

Once the pasta has cooled for a few minutes, add it to the bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbs of olive oil.  Sprinkle with another tsp of kosher or sea salt and toss all of the ingredients gently with a wooden spoon.

The flavors are absolutely perfect on their own, but if you want to add a little protein to your meal, this pasta is fantastic topped with grilled chicken.  Otherwise we recommend serving it with an extra drizzle of olive oil and some additional kosher salt on the side.  Summer caprese salad is also lovely topped with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.

Tomato love and summer pasta love <3

Tall One

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