If you’re not familiar with the term “caprese…” I feel bad for you and the hole you have been living in. Basically, its an Italian salad consisting of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil and this combo has become the kingpin of pinterest food creations.
This recipe is a super simple and CHEAP way to bring that flavor ( a little scaled back) into pasta and the result is amazing.
While the flavors incorporated are all delicious on their own, none of them really have the power to take on big pasta so you want to make sure you go small.
I use Ditalini.
I like these little noodles because the hollow centers allow the flavors to get trapped in there.
The remainder of the recipe can be made all while the pasta is cooking, and there is really not much too it.
First, oil your pan well and add garlic.
For your tomatoes, Roma are my favorite. They don’t have as much juice as the round, fat tomatoes so that cook down nicely.
You want to dice them pretty small because, well… I hate large chunks of tomatoes and this is my recipe.
And the more pieces you have, the more spread out the flavor is so it’s a win/win.
Toss those right into your garlic and oil and let them really break down. They will stay chunky, but will almost melt into the oil. When that happens and your pasta is cooked; drain and throw it right in the pan.
Mix that well… add your fresh basil… mix again… and top with your cheese. Typical caprese salad uses fresh mozzarella, but shredded is just easier. And this is far from a gourmet meal, so I just feel like its a waste of a beautiful ball of cheese.
let it simmer all together on low for about 5 minutes.
Your cheese is going to melt into the pasta as it absorbs the garlicky tomato oil..
It’s a beautiful thing.
Throw it right on your plate, and add lots more fresh basil because you can never have enough fresh basil.
Assuming you’ve got garlic and oil on hand… this meal costs about $6 to feed four people, and can be adjusted for larger crowds for next to nothing.
I serve it as a meal, but it’s a super light dish so it would also make a great side. Or if you like heavier dishes, throw in some shredded chicken or sausage.
1 cup dry Ditalini pasta
3 Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp (chopped) fresh basil
Cook pasta according to directions
In a large skillet, heat oil and garlic.
Once hot, add tomatoes and let simmer until they begin to break down.
When pasta is cooked, drain and add to tomatoes.
Toss in fresh basil and mix
Top with cheese and let simmer on low for about 5 minutes