Looking for that perfect, light, summer pasta dish for a warm, sunny Sunday? Well you can wish to be invited to dinner at my cousin Richard’s house, or you can make his recipe at your house. It’s perfect for any day of the week, actually. But you know us Italians……Sunday means pasta, even in the hot summer months. This is the perfect time of year to use the freshest ingredients from local farms or perhaps even from your backyard garden. And of course, the simpler the better on a hot day. This sauce doesn’t even require cooking!
So the key things about this sauce:
- Use ripe tomatoes, plum or cherry
- Fragrant basil, freshly picked.
- Allow the chopped tomatoes and basil to macerate for as long as you can, minimum of 2 hours.
- Use the best mozzarella you can find.
If you follow these 4 simple steps, your pasta dish can’t miss. The mingling of these ingredients is a winner any way you serve it. I promise you.
1 pound of short pasta, such as fusilli or a short rigatoni
3 cups chopped ripe tomatoes, either cherry tomatoes or plum.
1 cup chopped (by hand if possible) fresh basil and save some whole for serving
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 stick salted butter ( 4 TBSP)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped into 1 inch size cubes.
grated Pecorino Romano cheese for passing
- Chop tomatoes and put in large bowl.
- Add the chopped basil and garlic.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir all ingredients to combine. Set aside for 2 hours or so, stirring occasionally to combine the flavors.
- After the tomatoes and ingredients are macerated and ready, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water. When al dente, drain well and return to the pot. Add the tomatoes, and stir.
- Have the butter in your serving bowl. Pour the pasta and tomatoes into the serving bowl and mix with butter. Add the chopped mozzarella. Stir again to combine and let the mozzarella melt a bit.
- Top with some grated cheese and more fresh basil.
**Note: You can serve this immediately or at room temperature. However, when mixing all the ingredients, the pasta should be hot….right out of the pot, so flavors will slightly cook together and the mozzarella will melt.
Buon appetito! Enjoy the flavors of summer!