Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Caprese Pasta

Is there anything better than a Caprese salad made with juicy summer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garden basil, sweet balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper? It's one of the pure joys of this time of year, and it was the inspiration for this pasta dish. The sauce is made from ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, and it requires no cooking. It has all the flavors of a Caprese salad, making it a great, simple summer dinner.

Caprese Pasta

-3 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
-3 cloves garlic, peeled
-handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
-3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-1/2 cup olive oil
-pinch of crushed red pepper
-salt & pepper

-1 lb. whole wheat angel hair pasta

-fresh mozzarella, cut into bite size pieces
-cherry tomatoes, quartered
-pine nuts
-small basil leaves for garnish

-Place the tomatoes, garlic, basil, red pepper and vinegar in a food processor and blend, drizzling the olive oil in as it spins. Blend until almost smooth. The sauce will be soupy. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Place in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to marinate.

-Cook pasta according to package. Drain well, put back in pot, and toss with sauce.

-Serve topped with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts. If you have a good aged balsamic for drizzling, this is the dish to use it on.

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