Penne alla Caprese with Garlic-Shallot Oil

Summer cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil become tenfold more drool-worthy when added to a sizzling pot of extra virgin olive oil, minced shallots and garlic, and hot pepper flakes. There’s nothing more tantalizing than the aromas of basil and garlic wafting through the air!

Poured over al-dente pasta, the fresh mozzarella melts slightly. Oh my!

This Penne alla Caprese with Garlic-Shallot Oil defines big-flavor, little-work dishes.

 

Makes: 4 medium portions

The Ingredients

1 lb. good-quality penne

~3 cups good-quality cherry tomatoes, halved

1 container (~8 oz.) cigiliene mozzarella balls, drained and cut in half

1 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded

2 large garlic clove, minced

3 large shallots, minced

1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

~1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish (optional)

 

The Steps

Boil pasta according to directions on box, until al-dente. Save 1/4 cup pasta water.

Tip: I suggest lightly salting your pasta water for added flavor!

While pasta is boiling, add olive oil, garlic, shallots, and hot pepper flakes to a large pot. Simmer over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes.

Add cherry tomatoes to simmering oil. Toss over medium/low heat for 1-2 minutes just to warm the tomatoes and intensify their flavor. Remove from heat.

Add drained pasta, pasta water, and mozzarella to olive oil and tomato mixture. Toss to combine. Mozzarella will slightly melt. Add a dash more olive oil if the pasta seems dry.

Plate, and garnish with fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

You’ll want a piece of crusty bread to soak up that left0ver sauce!

 

The Steps with Pictures

Boil pasta according to directions on box, until al-dente. Save 1/4 cup pasta water.

Tip: I suggest lightly salting your pasta water for added flavor!

While pasta is boiling, add olive oil, garlic, shallots, and hot pepper flakes to a large pot. Simmer over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes.

Add cherry tomatoes to simmering oil. Toss over medium/low heat for 1-2 minutes just to warm the tomatoes and intensify their flavor. Remove from heat.

Add drained pasta, pasta water, and mozzarella to olive oil and tomato mixture. Toss to combine. Mozzarella will slightly melt. Add a dash more olive oil if the pasta seems dry.

Plate, and garnish with fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

You’ll want a piece of crusty bread to soak up that left0ver sauce!

 

 

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