Beautifully ripened tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, garlic, basil, and perfectly cooked pasta, tossed together to create a great summer dish. Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella is an easy to make, simple recipe, that is sure to be a crowd pleaser for any occasion.
Let’s celebrate, it’s Thursday! There’s just something so wonderful about Thursdays. I guess it’s the fact that most of the work week is complete, and the thrill of the upcoming weekend is finally within reach. Let’s enjoy our evening, and be thankful for a great day. I’m celebrating with a special #tbt (Throwback Thursday) post!
William was just 19-months-old when we headed off to Europe with him (for the third time). Everything I had read before we left, said not to take your toddler to Rome, especially in the month of July. However, being fairly adventurous travelers, and completely up for a challenge, we decided to embrace an incredible opportunity. What an amazing trip it was! We are so blessed to have had this experience, and we cannot wait for our next time abroad. (Although with three little ones, we might have to plan it out just a bit more ;)).
Come join me as we stroll through a few pictures from our journey to Rome, back in July 2011.
The food in Rome, and Europe in general, is out of this world! Nothing says “Italy” more than a giant bowl of pasta. One of my favorite meals from our trip was this amazing dish. We were at a darling little restaurant that was located down a popular alley. Thankfully, we were just early enough to beat the dinner crowd. We learned that timing was an important factor when in Rome, in July, with a toddler. That night we enjoyed our dinner outside on the patio. The street was bustling, and a musician was playing nearby. What a fantastic way to dine in Rome! I ordered this wonderful pasta dish with short pasta, tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella, (as you can see). It was so yummy, and yet so simple. I enjoyed this meal so much on our trip, that I knew it would be a great one to recreate at home!
When summer roles around, there are a few flavors that I often feel compelled to work into our menu. I just adore the combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil! The ripeness of the tomatoes play a huge role in the end result of this recipe. Try to find the freshest, ripest tomatoes that you can. When it comes to preparing the basil, here is an excellent visual of the best way to thinly slice (chiffonade) basil.
Thanks for joining me on our flashback to Rome! Now, put your feet up and relax. Imagine you’re sitting on the patio of a fine Italian restaurant, and enjoy the goodness of these fresh summer flavors.
- 2.5 pounds tomatoes (about 5 large tomatoes, or 10-12 Roma tomatoes), halved and seeds and pulp removed, then diced into 1/8-inch chunks
- 20 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (see note below)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (good quality)
- Salt and pepper, (fresh ground), to taste
- 16 ounces campanelle pasta (or substitute penne or fusilli)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (room temperature)
- Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, oil, and a generous amount of salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir together, then cover with plastic wrap and let sit out (do not refrigerate) for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours. Stirring occasionally.
- Cook pasta until al dente, make sure to reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain.
- In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the tomato mixture and fresh mozzarella. Add some of the cooking water if needed to loosen the consistency of the sauce. Serve immediately, and top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
To thinly slice (chiffonade) basil, stack 10 of the basil leaves on top of each other, then tightly roll them up the long way. Using a sharp knife, slice rolled basil into very thin slices. Then fluff and gently separate slices.
This is dish is usually served slightly warm from the heat of the cooked pasta. However, if you desire to have the cheese melted, or for a slightly different experience, this dish (or portions of it) can be placed in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, without further cooking the pasta or tomatoes. Leftovers can also be reheated in the microwave for a minute or two.
Feel free to check out the earlier version of this Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella recipe on my old blog.
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