August 22, 2008

Pasta Fresca

Do you love tomatoes? Do you love fresh, local, summer tomatoes that make you want to eat them whole because they're just so darned delicious? Do you like garlic? And basil? Lots of basil? Do you like answering lots of questions about food?!

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you need to make Pasta Fresca. Quickly! Go out and get tomatoes now! They're in season and won't get any better. And you cannot make this dish in the winter, or even when the tomatoes are just out of season. So go!!

I always start by cutting up half a pound of mozzarella cheese into small cubes.

And then I throw it in the fridge until I'm ready to use it.

Next, I roughly cut up tomatoes, about 4 cups.

Okay, so you don't need this many tomatoes to get four cups.

And then I throw a whole bunch of garlic and basil into the blender with some olive oil.

The tomatoes go in the blender next, and I add salt and pepper to taste.


The sauce goes into a microwave safe bowl until it's ready to be used.

The last thing to happen is to cook pasta. Okay, I also chiffonade some basil and chop up an extra tomato for garnish.

When the past is done (and just done, overcooked pasta is the worst), I mix the pasta, cheese and sauce together in layers.

And finally, top it off with some tomatoes and basil!

This pasta dish is a delicious dining experience. It's nice a light dinner on those hot August nights, and it's simple and so quick! If you have any respect for the combination of tomato, basil and garlic at all, you'll go out and get the ingredients and make it right away!


Pasta Fresca
from Moosewood Cooks at Home

4 cups + 1 cup chopped, ripe tomatoes, de-seeded
10-15 fresh basil leaves
2 medium to large garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 pound fusilli pasta

½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (store in fridge until needed)
grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional)


Roughly cut up and de-seed the tomatoes. Put the basil, garlic, olive oil and 4 cups of tomatoes into a blender and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a microwave-safe bowl and set aside until ready to use. Cook the pasta to al dente and drain, but do not rinse. Heat the sauce in the microwave for about 30 second, until just slightly warmer than room temperature. Pour a third of the pasta, sauce and cheese into a serving bowl and mix gently. Repeat until all the pasta, sauce and cheese is used up.
Serve with remaining cup of chopped tomato and chiffonade basil.

Guten Appetit!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Mmmm, that looks so amazing. My mouth is watering!