Monday, September 17, 2018

Tomato Mozzarella Pasta with Fresh Basil

Loved the simplicity yet bold flavors of this pasta. 

            4 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes, divided
            8 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
            Kosher salt
            Pinch of sugar
            2 cloves garlic, pressed
            1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
           1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
            1 lb. pasta
1/4 cup store bought marinara
            1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
            1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated
            1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn or coarsely chopped

Heat the oven to 350˚ F. On a lined cookie sheet, combine 3 cups of the halved tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with kosher salt and a pinch of sugar. Toss well, then transfer to the oven to roast, stirring a few times. Cook 45-60 minutes, until the tomatoes are shriveled and beginning to brown or blacken. Cool to room temperature.

Place the remaining cup of tomatoes in a small bowl. Season well with salt and toss to combine. Set aside.

Make the vinaigrette. Add the garlic and the vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of the roasted tomatoes, the red pepper flakes, store bought marinara, and the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. 
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
Once the pasta water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
Stir in the vinaigrette, fresh tomatoes, remaining roasted tomatoes, Parmesan, mozzarella, and the basil. Mix until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Top each bowl with additional mozzarella and fresh basil.

Source: Annies Eats
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