Our fridge was not empty, so luckily this is not a nightmare tale of greasy food we were forced to order in. We had plenty of ingredients on hand and it was just a matter of whipping something together quickly. We had a bunch of basil from Russo’s and some fresh mozzarella. I crossed my fingers that I hadn’t eaten all the cherry tomatoes and was ecstatic when I finally found them hiding behind the cranberry juice.
I was in the mood for something hearty so a simple salad would not suffice. I decided instead on pasta. The impromptu recipe that follows is delightful and the balsamic dressing finishes it off perfectly. While it was such a simple and easy dish it is still pretty enough to serve when company comes.
1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
¼ cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
½ cup balsamic viniger
2 tbsp. tomato pasta ( I used sun-dried )
¼ cup oil
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Linguini / pasta of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
1.) Prepare Pasta according to box directions.
2.) Slice cherry tomatoes in half, place on baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle on salt. Roast for at least twenty minutes.
3.) Place Roasted cherry tomatoes and their juices in sauté pain, add ½ the basil, the tomato paste, the balsamic, the red pepper and the oil. Saute over low heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and reduces.
4.) Add pasta to sauté pan, turn off heat.
5.) Toss in the mozzarella and remaining basil.
6.) Add Salt and Pepper to taste