Monday, August 1, 2011
Creamy Caprese Pasta
So, a couple of weeks ago I bought this nice basil plant to keep in my kitchen or window sill. Well, I left it outside a few days and all of a sudden I noticed it was being eaten alive!!! I brought it in to check it out and noticed that small beetles had taken residence in it. I wasn't too happy. Now my plant is dying. I covet my basil plants during the summer because they're so nice and convenient to have and a very inexpensive alternative to buying fresh herbs at the grocery store every time you need them. Luckily I was able to get some more fresh basil from my mom's garden that I kept in a plastic bag in the fridge. I guess I learned my lesson!
Now about this pasta. This is the perfect dish to showcase some of the wonderful fresh flavors of summer: fresh basil and tomatoes. Everything tastes better with fresh ingredients anyway. I love the tomato/basil/fresh mozzarella combo, just LOVE it. And there are so many ways to do it too; pizza, panini, salad...you get the picture. I like this way because my kids are pretty good pasta eaters and this dish in particular came together very quickly; always a plus in my book, especially after a long day. You'll love it too. It's nice and creamy and packed with flavor.
Creamy Caprese Pasta
1/2 pound whole wheat tube pasta, such as penne, rigatoni or ziti
1 cup of your favorite pasta/tomato sauce
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves; about 5-6 large leaves
Fresh grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.
While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. Once warm, stir in heavy cream and grated parmesan. Fold in mozzarella cubes (reserving some of them to top the pasta with), tomatoes and about 3-4 of the chopped fresh basil leaves.
When pasta is done cooking, drain and pour into a large casserole dish. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat. Top with remaining fresh mozzarella, add more if you like. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Top with additional fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
SOURCE: How Sweet It Is