Pasta Perfection

I. Heart. Pasta.

Big time.

Recently I posted on here about a legit pasta alternative…but sometimes you just gotta have the real stuff.

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This pasta is so beyond perfect for summertime, and has the potential to be an incredibly quick, totally impressive dinner.

The reason it has potential to be incredibly quick is the tomatoes…

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They sorta need to roast for 3 hours.

BUT!  You could slice up a bunch of tomatoes when you get back from the store and forget about them until you need to remove from the oven and just save them for a recipe.  A recipe like this one!

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It’s important to know that I am not a tomato fan.  That means you should listen to me and take the 10 minutes to slice these babies up.  Cause they are that good.

Yup.

Anywho, after the tomatoes are roasted to “sun-dried” perfection they can be used right away or stored in olive oil in the fridge (totally found that tip on Smitten Kitchen!)

The other reason that this recipe is amazing is that it is so flexible!  Change the amount/type of pasta! Add more cheese!  More tomatoes!  Less pine nuts!  Whatever you want!

Enough talking though, lets get down to the recipe.

Caprese Pasta

Adapted slightly from The Italian Dish

Ingredients

  • 10-12 oz pasta (any type will work well, I prefer spirals or spaghetti myself)
  • Grape (or similar) tomatoes
  • 4 oz fresh mozzerella (about half a ball)
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)

Make Ahead:

Slice the tomatoes in half.  Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Roast in a 225 degree oven for about 3 hours.  The outsides should be dry and the insides just slightly juicy.  (Do this ahead of time!!!!!!!!!)

Make garlic infused olive oil.  Finely chop 1 clove of garlic and place in a pan over med-low heat.  Add approx 1/2 cup olive oil and heat through.  Remove and let cool.  (Again, do this ahead of time to have on hand!!!!!)

Actual Recipe:

Boil pasta in salted water using package directions until al dente.  Drain.  While cooking the pasta, roll basil leaves and chop thin slices.  You should end up with fancy looking strips.  Slice the fresh mozzarella into small chunks.  Toast pine nuts in a dry pan until lightly toasted. Pull out your tomatoes and garlic olive oil.  Toss the cooked pasta with the pine nuts, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  This can be eaten either cold or hot, but I prefer hot as the cheese gets slightly melty.  Enjoy with a seasonal vegetable for a satisfying yet light pasta meal!

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