Creamy Caprese Pasta.
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.
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.
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.
Shucks… I sort of like Monday now. But just today.
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.
- 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.
Take that Monday.