It’s good to be back! Though I had a wonderful Spring Break, it’s time to get back to work, and start cooking again. It’s been a while since I last posted a (pasta) recipe, and I feel like it’s necessary for me to do so, since I eat so much of it! It’s also always good to have an extra recipe to switch things up a bit. So get ready, because this isn’t your typical Caprese salad… For starters, I should admit that I don’t really like pasta salads. Pasta is just so much better when it’s warm, that I never even think of eating it cold. Additionally, the pasta is too often mushy, or completely drowned in sauce. So this week, I decided I’d give a classic, the Caprese Pasta Salad, a little twist and make my delicious *warm* version of it. The star of this recipe is obviously the pesto rosso, or red pesto, which is basically pesto with a mix of fresh and sundried tomatoes. It adds a wonderful touch to the dish and make the flavors and textures of the fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes stand out in contrast. It’s also incredibly easy to make, with ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge or pantry! This recipe makes about two servings of pesto so you can keep the rest in the fridge and add it to scrambled eggs, or a bowl of quinoa the next day. Ti amo, Pesto Rosso… Bon appétit!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for the Pesto Rosso: Serves 2
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1/6 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 garlic clove
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 1/8 cup chopped blanched almonds
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1/2-1 tbsp grated romano cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper
Ingredients for the Caprese Pasta:
- 80g medium shells pasta
- 1/2 pesto rosso preparation
- a handful of cherry tomatoes (chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese (diced)
- chopped fresh basil (optional)
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot, and cook the pasta for the time written on the packaging (mine takes about 9 minutes).
- Meanwhile, make the pesto rosso. In a food processor, add the sundried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and almonds. Pulse until everything is roughly chopped, and chunky. Next, add the cherry tomatoes, and a light splash of balsamic vinegar. Pulse again, until well combined. Then, add the olive oil with the cheese and keep pulsing. Finally, add 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and pulse until the sauce is creamy and homogeneous. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot, add the diced fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, and toss with the pesto rosso. Top with parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. Mamma mia how delicious it is!