I love pizza Caprese and it is the pizza I end up ordering most of the time; simply because the flavours combined are divine!! Anything 'Caprese' usually refers to the combination of juicy, ripe tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella rounds, flavourful basil and of course, the inevitable - EVOO i.e. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All you need is bit of salt and pepper for seasoning and you are good to go. This is probably one of the recipes that qualify for simplicity with taste; not to mention the colourful fusion of ingredients as well that makes it look so tempting :D
Okay so I love pizza Caprese (Caprese means 'in style of Capri') and I have tried Insalata Caprese (the salad version ... you can find my recipe here). So what is left is pasta Caprese. Never had it in restaurants so far but I have seen numerous recipes (with some 'drool-worthy' clicks!) on the internet and have been wanting to try ever since. Normally you would just combine the above mentioned ingredients with pasta but I thought that might be a bit too 'dry' for my liking so I have added a bit of crushed tomatoes as well. Feel free to increase the sauce if you want it really saucy but otherwise venture into this easy yet flavorful dish that will not disappoint you either.... bien sur!
Pasta Caprese: Recipe
- Pasta (I used elbow) - around 300 gms
- Cherry Tomatoes - 250gm
- Buffalo Mozzarella - 1 cube
- Fresh basil leaves - 15 to 20
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil - as required
- Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
- Garlic - 3 pods (2 minced, 1 thinly sliced)
- Crushed tomato - less than 1/4 cup
- Red Chilli flakes - 1/4 tsp
- Sliced black olives - for garnish (optional)
- Combine a generous amount of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well to form a smooth dressing.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the cherry tomatoes and saute it on high flame till the skin bursts open. Combine these roasted tomatoes with the prepared dressing and let it rest while you complete the remaining part of the dish.
- Cook pasta as per instructions on the pack.
- Meanwhile, warm some olive oil and saute the garlic slices and red chilli flakes till the flavour infuses into the oil.
- Add the crushed tomato and simmer for few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- To this add the boiled pasta and the cherry tomatoes with dressing. Toss it well. Finally add chunks of buffalo mozzarella, sliced olives and torn basil leaves. Serve immediately.
Linking this to Reshmi's Around the World- Italian; hosted by Renuka: