Sigh.

Creamy Caprese Pasta I howsweeteats.com

It’s Monday.

I know.

 

You probably don’t have a smile on your face. Maybe you woke up 35 minutes late and couldn’t wash your hair. Dumped hot coffee on your new white shirt? Couldn’t fit into your new white shirt? Or maybe you dropped your last allergy pill – the only thing that keeps you from scratching out your eyeballs in May – down the garbage disposal. Did you reach down there nearly sacrificing your hand, only to feel something slimy and scary in a desperate attempt to limit wheezing and snot and itchiness?

 

That only means one thing. Someone needs to stop disposing of lime wedges and chicken in the sink.

Creamy Caprese Pasta I howsweeteats.com

Mondays are for grown ups. Mondays are for people who wear suits and carry briefcases and use a shoe horn to put on their loafers and rinse with green Scope. In other words, Mondays are for my dad.

Creamy Caprese Pasta I howsweeteats.com

But I have some good news!

Monday just got a whole lot more tolerable. Monday just got cheesier and creamier. Monday just got so much better than online shoe shopping, self tanner searching, surviving on salad because you stuffed your face while weekending, and attempting to hold off on the snoring while you take a little desk snooze.

Creamy Caprese Pasta I howsweeteats.com

Shucks… I sort of like Monday now. But just today.

Creamy Caprese Pasta I howsweeteats.com

So – the pasta!

Am I gonna give it up or what? Chewy noodles swim in a light tomato cream sauce. Creamy chunks of fresh mozzarella hide in between pops of grape tomatoes and ribbons of basil, and melt into a gooey, bubbly binder that falls perfectly atop a slice of crusty, buttery garlic bread. It’s almost as perfect as a toasty French loaf topped with a homegrown tomato round, buffalo mozzarella circle, and a solitary silky basil leaf. But better.

Creamy Caprese Pasta I howsweeteats.com

Creamy Caprese Pasta

serves 4-6

1 pound whole wheat pasta (noodles such as penne work best)

1 cup of your favorite pasta/tomato sauce

1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes

1 pint of grape tomatoes (I cut some in half and left some whole)

1 bunch of fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. 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.

Top with additional fresh basil and grated cheese. Serve with garlic bread. You can also add in chicken, steak or seafood for some protein.

Creamy Caprese Pasta I howsweeteats.com

Take that Monday.

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240 Responses to “Creamy Caprese Pasta.”

  1. #
    51
    Shanna, Like Banana — May 16, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    That ooey gooey slice has my name written all over it. I’m on a total Italian kick lately..yum!

    Reply

  2. #
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    Lindsey @ Morningstar Project — May 16, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    Thank you! I needed this as I sit here still feeling the effects of a wedding I attended this weekend. Pasta and cheese cures all :)

    Reply

  3. #
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    Erin — May 16, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    Great solution to Mondays! I got syrup in my hair this morning while eating breakfast…

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    HeatherChristo — May 16, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    I did in fact wake up to tight pants and dumped a huge cup of coffee on myself, a nicely upholstered chair and my laptop. I guess I will have to make this pasta to cure my Mondays :)

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Danica — May 16, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    Wow! I WILL be making this pasta dish this week. YUM!!

    Reply

  6. #
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    Joanna@ Drizzle of Sunshine — May 16, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    Haha “Take that Monday”! This morning was hard but I appreciate your cheesy efforts to brighten our day. Is it weird that pictures of cheese can make a person feel happy? I think you should do a study. I’ll be happy to be your test subject. You can pay me with food.

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    Karly — May 16, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    You have this weird ability to make me crave weird foods for breakfast. Then again, I guess cheesy pasta is good anytime of day.

    LOOOOOOVE that melty, cheesy photo where you’re scooping the pasta out of the dish. Mouthwatering!

    Reply

  8. #
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    Stephanie — May 16, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    oh my goodness. i think my anti-whole wheat boyfriend would even eat whole wheat pasta if i made it like this.

    1st time poster. i was recently introduced to your blog by my cousin. i’m hooked. for my waistline’s sake, must. not. start. making. everything….

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    Ashley — May 16, 2011 @ 11:28 am

    “chewy noodles”……how I miss thee!

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    Michele — May 16, 2011 @ 11:30 am

    Holy heck woman! This stuff looks delicious. Can’t wait to make it.

    Reply

  11. #
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    Michele — May 16, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    What a fabulous post! That pasta is to die for! It’s raining all week in New Jersey so what’s better than a little bit of that comfort??? LOVE IT!

    Reply

  12. #
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    Andrea @ Vegvacious — May 16, 2011 @ 11:53 am

    This pasta looks amazing!!! It’s a great meal idea for yet another gray, rainy Monday. You continue to do outdo yourself my dear!!

    Reply

  13. #
    63
    Danielle A — May 16, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    Oh that looks so yummy! I think I am adding this to dinner plans for next week! :D

    Reply

  14. #
    64
    Jess — May 16, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

    my favorite flavors in one dish. great twist on the original tbm.

    Reply

  15. #
    65
    Anne @ Baking Me — May 16, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    Wow this looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it!

    Reply

  16. #
    66
    Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! — May 16, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    Omggggg, what are you DOING to me?! This is seriously the most incredible looking thing EVER. How many miles do you think I need to run in order to justify making and eating it every night for the rest of the week?

    Reply

  17. #
    67
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 16, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    Jess, this is such a wonderful recipe for a quick weeknight meal. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me with something new!

    Reply

  18. #
    68
    Alaina — May 16, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    I love cheesy pasta bakes! If the grape tomatoes don’t have a raw taste to it, I’m there. :-)

    Reply

  19. #
    69
    Alison (Fueling for Fitness) — May 16, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    Want…. this…. now.

    And hey, what about adding bacon in as an added protein option? yummm

    Reply

  20. #
    70
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — May 16, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    That looks and sounds magnificent! Yet another winner from Jessica!

    Reply

  21. #
    71
    Rachel — May 16, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    Wow, you just combined two of my favorite things: Caprese salad and pasta (anything pasta). I swear, I’ve gained a few pounds since following your site. It’s okay though, its good carb-loaded, sugary and cheesy pounds :)

    Reply

  22. #
    72
    Leah @ Why Deprive? — May 16, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    Just looking at the pictures of this pasta makes my Monday suck less.

    Reply

  23. #
    73
    Katrina — May 16, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    I really love the look of this. So tasty!

    Reply

  24. #
    74
    Greta @ California Girl — May 16, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    This looks AMAZING! I love the Caprese Salad flavors and textures – winner all around in my book :) I even replicated it in pizza form a few weeks ago…

    http://www.californiagirlcooks.com/2011/04/diy-pizza-oven-grilled-pizza-caprese.html

    PS: I think that a big bowl of chees-y pasta served with a side of garlic bread could solve just about anybody’s case of the Monday’s ;)

    Reply

  25. #
    75
    Sahar — May 16, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    This looks divine! Your recipes are so amazing, every single one I’ve tried has been simple AND delicious. This one’s next!

    P.S. Thanks for showing me cooking with heavy cream is ok :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 16th, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

      Thanks a bunch Sahar!

      Reply

  26. #
    76
    Jules — May 16, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    Would you please give us your recipe for garlic bread? Please? Pretty please?

    Reply

  27. #
    77
    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food — May 16, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

    oh my heavens me I LOVE creamy tomato sauces mmm mmm!

    This definitely improves my Monday ;)

    Reply

  28. #
    78
    Adrienne @ Midwestern Belle — May 16, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

    Oh yum! I just had a boring old salad…This looks SO much better!

    Reply

  29. #
    79
    thehealthyapron — May 16, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    If I hadnt just made your baked buffalo chicken pasta last night, I would have TOTALLY made this tonight! Looks incredible per usual! Thanks again for the amazing recipe and the drool worthy pictures!

    Reply

  30. #
    80
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — May 16, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    AMAZING! :)

    Reply

  31. #
    81
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — May 16, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

    Yummy! You can never go wrong with pasta.

    Reply

  32. #
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    Amanda@RunningOnCoffee — May 16, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    Just added these ingredients to my shopping list for after work today!

    Reply

    • Amanda@RunningOnCoffee — May 16th, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

      In case it helps anyone else, I used an 8x8x4″ baking dish, and the pasta mixture filled it all the way to the top…That’s with 17 oz pasta (1 oz extra) – because I had two half boxes of pasta to use up. It’s in the oven right now I can’t wait to dig in!

      Reply

  33. #
    83
    Rachel @ The Perseverance Diaries — May 16, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    Ohhh this recipe could make my rainy Monday a whole lot better. Those colors are so beautiful together, the shiny red tomatoes, bright green basil, and pure white cheese. I love it!

    Reply

  34. #
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    Tina@My Life as a Mrs — May 16, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    This looks UH-mazing. Drooling on my keyboard… :)

    Reply

  35. #
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    Cara — May 16, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

    That looks great! I think I’ve had tomatoes and mozzarella at nearly every meal since I’ve arrived in Italy. This will be made in my toaster oven this week! Grazie!

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 16th, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

      Lucky!

      Reply

  36. #
    86
    Ashley's Cooking Adventures — May 16, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

    If this pasta is anything like your Caprese Dip, then YES PLEASE!!

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 16th, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

      I think it might even be better!

      Reply

  37. #
    87
    Blond Duck — May 16, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    This may replace the mac and cheese I was going to make this weekend.

    Reply

  38. #
    88
    Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique — May 16, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    You and your pasta bakes kill me. They all look amazing! This one is no different. :)

    Reply

  39. #
    89
    Naomi — May 16, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

    i actually canot BELIEVE I havent had fresh mozzerela yet?!?! that is one thing that I missed so dearly! i cant wait for summer, my mom ALWAYS has fresh tomatoes and mozz in their fridge–when I go over there I steal it all! :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 16th, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

      Um, get on that!

      Reply

  40. #
    90
    megan — May 16, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

    Man.O.Man. You…you’re killing me. This looks so good, but I could NOT stop at that sweet little bowl you gave yourself…I’d eat the whole dish! Looks fabulous and your ability to read our minds and put it into print is PRIZE WORTHY! I die at how right on your descriptions are! Love you girl…and you are the reason I went back to the gym after a 5 month hiatus…I’ll be making this when I see results in a month :)

    HAPPY MONDAY AFTERALL!!!

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 16th, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

      Thank you Megan!

      Reply

  41. #
    91
    EatLiveRun — May 16, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

    this sounds fantastic. loooooove all that creamy cheese!!

    Reply

  42. #
    92
    Serena — May 16, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    I’ve never made caprese salad. I feel a sudden urge to. Is that weird?

    Reply

  43. #
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    Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd — May 16, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

    basil and cheese and tomato are such comforting flavors. and i love your picture at the beginning, such appealing eye candy!

    Reply

  44. #
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    Caitlin — May 16, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    Last on the wagon but HOW did you know I love anything caprese? I used to go nuts over the caprese sandwiches at Panera. At least I think they were sandwiches. Perhaps a wrap or something of the like. No matter, it was amazing but something tells me I would go NUTS over this. You are a culinary goddess!

    Reply

  45. #
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    Ashley — May 16, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

    I have never felt so obligated to leave a comment on your site! After reading for a long time, I saw this recipe on tastespotting today and I was like, THAT IS IT, I have to say how appreciative of this blog.

    I love your writing style, I love how you eat, I love how (and how much) your husband eats. I love the food you make! This looks delicious and combines everything I love in one dish. Honestly, I drool at your photos every time.

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 17th, 2011 @ 6:44 am

      Thank you so much Ashley!

      Reply

  46. #
    96
    MeredithS757 — May 16, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

    Wow, I just found your blog and I have to say that everything on here looks amazing! I am definitely going to make this for dinner sometime this week!!

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 17th, 2011 @ 6:44 am

      Thanks!

      Reply

  47. #
    97
    Dannie — May 17, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    I have mozzarella begging to be used and I was going to just make caprese sandwiches-not anymore!

    Reply

  48. #
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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — May 17, 2011 @ 1:07 am

    I need to try this pasta dish. You are pretty much the pasta queen! I LOVE pasta and have a list of yours to make.

    Reply

  49. #
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    Shumaila — May 17, 2011 @ 1:27 am

    I had to scroll down so much to comment on this- just shows how good this recipe sounds! The pictures make me want to jump into the computer screen and dig into the dish right away! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  50. #
    100
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — May 17, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    I know I already commented… but I have to let you know that I made this last night already! You planted the seed, and I had all the ingredients… and wow. This did not disappoint. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

    • Jessica — May 17th, 2011 @ 9:24 am

      Awesome!

      Reply

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