Cookbook:Fresh Pasta with Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil
This is a delicious and quick recipe for a sunny day, or to bring back a little memory of summer. It's served warm so may not suit a winter evening! The combination of flavours (egg pasta, milky mozzarella, sweet tomato and spicy basil) is just wonderful.
- 250g fresh egg pasta
- 2 mozzarella balls (cow or buffalo) - Works well with Brie as well
- About 10-15 small tomatoes or 4/5 larger tomatoes (you need about the same amount as the mozzarella)
- A good handful of basil leaves, about 15-20
- Extra virgin olive oil (what else?)
- Salt & black pepper
The secret here is to prepare all the ingredients except the pasta ahead of time and let them soak together. I tend to stand the prepared bowl of ingredients in a sink full of hot water, so that the mozzarella starts to soften and the juices from the tomatoes start to run.
- Chop the mozzarella and the tomatoes roughly and put them in a big salad type dish. You're looking to create small cube shapes between 1 cm and 1 inch (i.e., about 2.5 cm).
- Now tear up the basil and sprinkle it over the mozzarella and tomatoes. I always tear basil as I've read that it's the best way to preserve the flavour, but others may disagree.
- Drizzle on lots of extra virgin olive oil - at least 3 tablespoons (I usually do more - for me it's pouring, not drizzling!)
- Finally add a really good amount of salt and just a little black pepper. The salt will start to leech moisture out from the other ingredients and create a sauce.
- When you're ready, boil up the egg pasta, drain when cooked al dente (as usual) and then pour, still hot, on the other ingredients. Stir it up, coating everything really well, and serve.
Contributor: Rich Osborne.