4 pints small tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound penne pasta, or other short pasta
1 large shallot, minced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil (I used garlic olive oil.)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10-15 minutes
1. Toss tomatoes, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to salad spinner and spin to remove seeds and liquid. Return tomatoes to bowl. Reserve tomato liquid.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta as instructed on packaging. Drain well.
3. Add reserved tomato liquid, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, basil, and black pepper to a small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
4. Add vinegar mixture to tomatoes and stir to coat. Add pasta and stir. Add frozen mozzarella and stir well. Check for seasoning and add extra salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm, room temperature, or cool.
It’s safe to say that I love pasta, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. I’ve been dreaming about some sort of pasta Caprese recipe and thinking about how I could make it better with the grape tomatoes that I’m willing to buy in the winter. There are some aspects of Cherry Tomato Pasta Caprese that seemed great and then some aspects of Pasta Caprese that were good, so I ended up combining the parts I liked most and coming up with this recipe. It was delicious. I could have eaten the entire bowl and been quite content. (Although I would have regretted it later, I’m sure!)
Shown here with Mom's Chicken.