This recipe is amazing. We devoured two whole dishes of it in a matter of three days. Embarrassing? Maybe. Worth it? Totally. I'm even thinking about making it again this week. Too much? Eh, it's summer vacation. Maybe a little more running will be needed...
...Anyway, I love caprese salads. Seriously, I adore them. Tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil? Yum. If - no when - I go to Italy, I plan to try a caprese salad at every restaurant, much like I tried creme brulee at every restaurant I went to in France (Megan did it with me so I wasn't completely crazy!).
Anyway...when I saw this recipe for Creamy Caprese Pasta on one of my favorite cooking blogs, How Sweet It Is, I knew I had to make it. (Seriously check out her website if you haven't already - it's awesome!) Combining my favorite salad into a wholesome pasta dish? Yes, please!
I ended up cooking too much pasta so some of my quantities are different from the original recipe. Feel free to check hers out, or follow mine if you're looking for a great meal to refrigerate or freeze for later! (Who doesn't like that?!) I also used my own tomato sauce recipe, but you're welcome to use your favorite store brand for a much quicker meal.
*1 pound whole wheat pasta (noodles such as penne work best)
*2 cups of your favorite pasta/tomato sauce (my own tomato sauce recipe)
*2/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
*1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish (I forgot to grab some fresh so I used the regular canister kind)
*4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes, plus about 2-4 more ounces sliced into rounds
*1 pint of grape tomatoes (I cut some in half and left some whole)
*1 bunch of fresh basil leaves (about 3-5 basil leaves)
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions.
*While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. (Or start making your own!) Once warm, stir in heavy cream and grated parmesan.
*Once pasta is done cooking, drain and dump into the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off heat. Fold in mozzarella cubes and tomatoes, then chop 3-4 fresh basil leaves and add them in too.
*Once combined, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire pasta mixture into the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
*Serve with garlic bread, veggies, or whatever you'd like! Feel free to add more basil and cheese for garnish on top. Yummm!
|Loving these ingredients.|
|Pasta coated in sauce|
|Adding mozzarella and tomatoes|
|Next step: basil!|
|Mozzarella rounds on top for an extra cheesy dish! Note: Using a serrated knife makes it MUCH easier to cut mozzarella cheese and even spices like basil!|
|So cheesy!! We loved it!|