Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bar Food 4. Pasta Caprese

So I'm now about a month into studying for the bar and I think it's catching up with me. I'm starting to realize just how much there is to learn and memorize. oi oi oi. Anyways, the complexity of my cooking has decreased by a bit but as so many great chefs say, the simplest food is often the most delicious.

Here is a recipe for pasta caprese which I made for dinner tonight. I saw this recipe while watching America's Test Kitchen, a fantastic cooking show on PBSHD, and adapted it slightly given what I had around the house. Because the recipe includes so few ingredients, its really important to use very high quality food. So it was the perfect opportunity for me to use my basil plant.

I grew these guys from seed starting back in March and despite the unbearable Virginia weather and my long trips away from home, they have continued to persevere (while everything else has shriveled up dry). Hope you enjoy the recipe!



1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 small garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 lb ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 pound short tubular or curly pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar, optional depending on ripeness of tomatoes

1. Whisk oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add tomatoes and gently toss to combine; set aside. Do not marinate tomatoes for longer than 45 minutes.

2. While tomatoes are marinating, place mozzarella on plate and freeze until slightly firm, about 10 minutes.

3. Bring water to rolling boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain well. Combine pasta, mozzarella, and tomato and gently toss to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in basil.

4. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and sugar (if desired) and serve immediately.

No comments: