Pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil
Summer calls for light pasta dishes, non-greasy, flavorful but, oh so delicious. This is one of those dishes.
You can use any small tubular pasta for this dish. The original recipe calls for a Neapolitan pasta called Paccheri, a large macaroni pasta. However, if you cannot find this variation, you can use another variety that is also tubular in shape like rigatoni or penne (more here on tubular pastas).
This is the perfect summer pasta as the cooking time is literally as long as it takes to make the pasta. Timing is very important in this dish. You need to have the sauce just ready as the pasta has finished cooking. The perfectly cooked pasta are lightly coated with the mild sauce, tomatoe baed olive oil add the flavor and the barely cooked fresh tomatoes add the freshness. The mozzarella tends to melt onto the hot pasta and get gooey, and the fresh basil adds that perfect flavor and herb. Yes, light, simple and refreshing, but so good on hot days.
This is a cookbook from Ronaldo Beramendi, of the famed Manicaretti Italian food importer, but also master chef. This cookbook bring some truly authentic Italian cuisine, kept true to their core and not muddled with their import across the ocean. This is a great cookbook for those looking for wonderful no-fuss Italian food.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
1 lb pasta, paccheri, rigatoni or other
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoon tomato paste
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 lb mozzarella or bocconcini, cubed to halved
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Fresh basil, for serving
Cook the pasta as per the directions on the package, minus 1 minute, for al dante. Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large pot and add the tomato paste. Sauté on low heat for 2 minutes to get the paste to completely integrate into the oil and turn it a bright red color.
Add the scallions and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes on a medium-low flame. Mix in the salt and pepper. This step should be done right as the pasta is about to finish cooking. Do not overcook the tomatoes to a sauce.
Once you have drained the pasta, add immediately to the sauce and toss well. Serve immediately tossed with the mozzarella and fresh basil on top.
Note: This is a pasta dish that is best directly from the stove. It cannot be prepared ahead of time.