Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pasta Caprese

Seems I'm just full of recipe ideas this week! Today my Mom reminded me of a recipe she used to make once in a while when we were kids and it's such the perfect summer, exploding garden recipe that I just had to share it. This isn't exactly Mom's recipe and she'll be mad at me if I don't mention that. I added a few optional ingredients that sounded good to me, but of which Mom may not approve.

Pasta Caprese

For 1 lb. of pasta like ziti, pene or rigatoni, start with:

Insalata Caprese

7 or so ripe but firm tomatoes
1 lb. mozzarella cut into about 20 cubes
12 or so basil leaves
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Optionally add:

1-2 cloves minced or chopped garlic
1/2 large vidalia onion, finely sliced in slivers
3-4 oz. black or calamata olives, pitted
2-4 tablespoons capers
3-4 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, halved or quartered
3 anchovy filets, chopped
1 cup red-leaf lettuce, finely shredded

Mix the tomato ingredients with any of the optional ingredients and allow to marinate for an hour or so. (If you're including the lettuce don't add it until just before tossing the pasta in with the tomatoes.) Boil the pasta just until al dente. Drain, run under cold water to stop cooking, and toss with the Insalata Caprese. Serve in deep plates and sprinkle with grated parmigiano cheese. A glass of wine, a slice of bread and you're in Heaven!

Buon apetito!

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