Sometimes simple is good. Really, really, really good. When working with quality ingredients, I've learned it's often best to allow each part to sing. Individually highlighting all the components, rather than masking them with a ton of heavy sauces or seasonings, can churn out something truly unified and beautiful.
Pasta Caprese actually was a spur-of-the-moment creation. It was one of those let's-just-see-what-happens-while-I-throw-together-items-from-the-fridge dinner situations. Hubby was coming home late, as per usual, and I wanted to get something on the table. I almost didn't even take pictures while I cooked, opting to snap a few with my iPhone instead of my professional camera.
But I'm so glad I did. He took one bite, turned to me and said, "This is one of the best things you ever made," as he devoured the serving, went back for seconds, then literally licked the bowl clean. I've been requested to make it again ever since.
I told you, sometimes simple is really, really good.
A few cups whole wheat penne (eyeball it when you add to the sauce)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2/3 cup fresh mozzarella balls
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Boil penne and cut tomatoes in half. Over medium heat, use a microplane to grate garlic into a pan coated with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add tomatoes. Cut mozzarella balls in half. Add to tomatoes. Season with basil, salt and crushed pepper. The cheese will begin to melt into the olive oil, creating a sauce. A magical, magical sauce. Add cooked pasta. Mix well.
Eat and enjoy, licking the bowl clean!
Jenn Press Arata is a food writer and blogger. Visit her blog at thatssojenn.com. She also can be followed on Twitter, @thatssojennblog.