Pasta is always a wonderful treat and so is anything with the word “Caprese” in the title, so why not combine them to make a super-fresh, super-delicious pasta dish? This time of year, many of our gardens are full of all of the beautiful fruits of our gardening labor, especially tomatoes and mounds of fresh basil. If you don’t have a garden like this, chances are you have a friend who does and is willing to part with a little bit of their bounty. You know, because you’re such a great friend.
This truly lip-smacking penne alla Caprese comes together in no time, is loaded with ingredients most people adore, and is even healthy. The aromatic garlic, wine, fresh tomatoes, and basil are so delicious mixed in with the toothsome pasta and the tangy fresh mozzarella. It’s simple, and just right. “Less is more” isn’t just a clever saying after all.
1 lb. penne pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ c. dry white wine
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 c. cherry tomatoes, or fresh diced tomatoes
½ c. fresh basil leaves, torn
8 oz. mozzarella pearls or diced fresh mozzarella
Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and white wine and cook until they are soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Break the tomatoes up as you cook with a rubber spatula so that they become a bit more “saucy.”
Combine the pasta and tomato sauce in a large serving bowl and toss to combine. Add the fresh basil and fresh mozzarella and combine quickly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle with additional olive oil and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.