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Celebrate Summer with this Pasta Caprese

Aug 18, 2017 02:59PM ● Published by Linda Ditch

Because it’s still summer and tomatoes and basil can be found in abundance at the farmers market, I present my favorite summer supper—Pasta Caprese. This dish is both easy to make (think after-work easy) and lovely to eat on a war summer evening.

The key to this recipe is using the freshest ingredients available—good extra-virgin olive oil and tomatoes ripe from the vine (or farmers’ market.) Try to use fresh mozzarella (the kind packed in water) if you can. Just make sure you freeze the cubes or balls of cheese for 10 minutes before you add them to the hot pasta to keep the cheese from becoming a rubbery mess. This dish is served warm or at room temperature, not hot—perfect for summer.

 

Pasta Caprese

Adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001–2014.

Serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 to 4 tsp fresh lemon juice, to taste

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 small shallot, finely minced

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 lb ripe cherry tomatoes or large tomatoes cut into half-inch dice

12 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into half-inch cubes

1 lb penne pasta

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tsp sugar, to taste

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, garlic, shallot, and salt and pepper. Gently fold in the tomatoes and mozzarella. Set aside for no longer than 45 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add enough salt to make the water taste like the ocean (a bit salty), and then add the pasta. Cook al dente and drain.

3. Gently toss the warm pasta with the tomato mixture and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the basil and any additional salt, pepper, lemon juice, and sugar to taste. Serve.

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