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PASTA CAPRESE

WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THOSE  TOMATOES? Answer - fresh-uncooked pasta sauce! This can only be done in the summer. This dish will be very warm, not hot. The success of this recipe depends on high-quality ingredients, including ripe, in-season tomatoes and a fruity olive oil. Don’t skip the step of freezing the mozzarella, as freezing prevents it from turning chewy when it comes in contact with the hot pasta. If handmade buffalo- or cow’s-milk mozzarella is available (found at Wegman's in water), we highly recommend using it, but skip the step of freezing and add it to the tomatoes while marinating. Recipe sent in by Fred Forsburg of Honey Hill Farm!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 small shallot , minced fine (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 pounds very ripe tomatoes , cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella , cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note above)
  • 1 pound penne or other short tubular or curly pasta such e.g. fusilli
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Whisk oil, lemon juice, garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add tomatoes and gently toss to combine. Marinate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 45 minutes.
  • While tomatoes are marinating: place mozzarella on plate and freeze until slightly firm, about 10 minutes, bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in stockpot, add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, cook until al dente. Drain quickly yet thoroughly!
  • Add cubed mozzarella to tomato mixture and drop the hot pasta onto the mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and let stand 3-5 minutes. Stir in basil, adjust seasonings and serve immediately.
  • If done as instructed the hot pasta will melt the mozzarella and warm the sauce. This is our daughter’s favorite recipe.
~Thanks to my son-in-law Mark Modica and Americas Test Kitchen for recipe. He learned it from his grandma and I got the proportions from AMT.