This month’s Recipe Redux theme is nostalgic cooking- re-inventing some of the first things we learned to make. While I have some very cute photographic proof that I did cook as a small child, cooking fell by the wayside for me until partway through high school when I became obsessed with Food Network. I knew very little about cooking at that point but I decided to give it a shot with one of Giada’s recipes– Fusilli alla Caprese- that looked absolutely delicious. I’ve actually posted about it before, but the picture is so ugly and the method so ill-described that I need a chance to redo it!
This is a great beginner dish because it only requires 2 separate dishes and is so simple that you never have to worry about one thing overcooking while you prep other ingredients. In fact, I’ve simplified it even further so maybe you can even get the dishes done before serving! Of course, I also made the recipe healthier by switching the pasta for whole grain pasta and adding many more tomatoes. In this case, I used an interesting black bean pasta, which is gluten free, simply because it was pretty and I wanted to taste it, but any non-white-flour pasta will do! As a side note, the black bean pasta was one of the better gluten-free pastas I’ve tried, but that’s not saying much. I also used heirloom tomatoes because it’s the peak of farmers’ market glory right now, but regular tomatoes will do in the winter because they are sauteed anyway.
All this recipe takes is prepping some pasta, sauteing garlic with tomatoes, and topping it all with torn-up mozzarella and basil. You can even wash the cutting board and pans while letting the mozzarella melt before serving, so the meal is totally stress-free. Pour a glass of wine and enjoy the perfect simplicity!
- 1/2 lb whole grain pasta
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 pound tomatoes
- 4 oz burrata cheese or fresh mozzarella
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta to al dente in well-salted water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and mince the garlic.
- Saute the garlic in the oil until lightly browned. Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes into large chunks.
- Add the tomatoes to the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes until warm but not squishy.
- Meanwhile, tear the mozzarella into large chunks.
- Drain the pasta, top with the tomatoes and mozzarella, and tear the basil leaves up to sprinkle on top.