This easy Caprese Pasta takes full advantage of summer’s ripe tomatoes and sweet basil. Add fresh mozzarella for a beautiful, simple meal.
I like to make Caprese Pasta any time I don’t feel like cooking.
It’s as easy as boiling some noodles and tossing with blistered tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and plenty of fresh basil.
But, this dish is best made at the height of summer when the tomatoes are ripe in your garden and your basil plant is taking over the yard (or Earthbox).
I added a few tasty flavors to the blistered tomatoes: Thinly sliced fresh garlic, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and a pinch of cayenne (added at your discretion). Together, this forms a delicious sauce for your Caprese Pasta.
The fresh mozzarella goes in cold, but the hot pasta melts it perfectly and effortlessly. Combined with the blistered tomato sauce, you’ve got an easy, summery meal that the whole family will love!
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- 1 pound grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic sliced very thin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper optional
- 1 pound penne or ziti
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
- 15 fresh basil leaves finely shredded, plus more sprigs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place grape tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until tomatoes are blistered, about 15 minutes.
- While the tomatoes roast, bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- When the tomatoes are done roasting, combine tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Toss until evenly coated and let marinate at room temperature.
- Drain the pasta but do not rinse. Add the tomato mixture and toss together. Add the mozzarella and the finely shredded basil, and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the basil sprigs and serve.
- Use firm garlic cloves that do not show any signs of green sprouts. The sprouts will impart a sharp flavor if included in this dish.
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