Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Simplicity at its best.

Pasta Margherita 

I love how some of the simplest ingredients can combine to create a delicious and satisfying, yet light, meal. Margherita pizza is one of my all-time favorites. The basil, mozzarella, garlic and tomatoes combine to create an extraordinary flavor combination. I was craving the pizza version, but I am kind of apprehensive to attempt a homemade pizza (the pizza dough intimidates me!), so I decided to incorporate the ingredients and flavors to make the pasta! This is an incredibly basic recipe, and fairly cheap as well. The fresh mozzarella (this means the mozzarella cheese in the water) brings the cost up quite a bit but substituting for the bagged mozzarella would completely change the dish!

~3.5 cups of your favorite pasta. I used penne.
1 large on-the-vine tomato, de-seeded and chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Large handful of fresh basil, chopped
Fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut in half- As little or as much as you want!
3.5 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste

 Step 1: Fill a large pot with cold water. Add salt to taste and put on high until water boils. In the meantime, cut up all of the ingredients and set aside. Follow instructions on box on how long to cook the pasta until al dente.

Step 2: After putting the pasta in the boiling water, heat one tablespoon of olive oil on a medium sized skillet on medium heat. Once the oil starts to bubble place the garlic carefully on the surface. Stir constantly until garlic starts to brown. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine with the garlic.

Step 3: Drain the pasta and let it cool down for a minute or so. Once it is cool enough to where it will not melt the mozzarella, pour pasta in bowls and top with the tomato/garlic/olive oil mixture. Next, sprinkle the fresh basil and mozzarella on top and stir to combine. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the dish and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

This meal was super simple and quick and left my margherita pizza craving satisfied :)

xox, Jen

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