I was pretty proud of this dish. I’ll be honest, I gave myself a little pat on the back for coming up with this super duper simple-but-creative recipe to utilize some fresh cherry tomatoes gifted to us by one of the guys at work. But shortly after I started writing this entry I googled “caprese pasta,” and as it turns out, I was not the first to think of this wonderful creation. Darn. That burst my bubble a little but no matter – I still hope you will enjoy our take on caprese pasta!
Caprese, in case you haven’t ordered it at a ristorante recently, is typically a cold appetizer of tomato slices, mozzarella, and basil arranged in colorful layers and drizzled with a good olive oil (and sometimes balsamic vinegar as well). After seeing the beautiful bright red ripeness of the homegrown tomatoes, I knew we wanted to cook them minimally if at all.
At the farmer’s market, we found an artisanal cheese maker who sold a stunning fresh burrata and we had to get some to pair with the tomatoes. We are also excited to use the meyer lemon oil we recently purchased from Global Gardens in Los Olivos to replenish our pantry. Finally, I snipped a few leaves off our little basil plant, the first of our hopeful herb garden. What follows is a surprisingly easy recipe for a refreshing entree that tastes like summer. (I know it’s fall, but summer doesn’t have to be over yet!)
1/2 lb dried pasta (we used Barilla spaghetti but feel free to use shapes or whole wheat or gluten-alternatives)
10 cherry tomatoes or a couple of larger tomatoes, diced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (highly recommend meyer lemon infused olive oil if you have it!)
A handful of fresh basil leaves
2 oz burrata or fresh mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste
First cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, prep your tomatoes.
When the pasta is done, drain the water but do not rinse.
In a skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil and add the diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the tomatoes for about 3 minutes, or just until the juices are released and the pan starts to look “saucy”.
Add the pasta and toss to coat. Taste and season again if needed.
Take the pan off the heat and divide into dishes. Finish with a drizzle of meyer lemon infused olive oil, dots of burrata, and a chiffonade of basil. Serves two hungry carb-lovers. Buon appetito!