Two of the things I love most about summer are fresh tomatoes and basil. I love the simple flavors of mozzarella, tomato and basil, also known as caprese. I usually grow my own tomatoes but last year they all fell victim to blossom rot so I skipped them this year. But I am still growing basil (among other herbs) for the simple joy of being able to cook with them whenever I want. My friend Melissa recently posted this recipe for caprese pasta, which I've made countless times before but rediscovered thanks to her post.
I haven't tried her version with the shredded mozzarella since I'm a sucker for fresh, but if she says it's awesome then I believe it.
There are no set amounts here. It's all up to you. This is what you will need:
Fresh basil leaves
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Fresh mozzarella, diced
Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions; drain well. Pour into a medium bowl, squirt a bit of olive oil on it, toss and let cool to room temperature.
Cut up the tomatoes and chiffonade the basil. Mix together in a large bowl, soak with olive oil, and add salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
Pour the cooled pasta into the bowl with the tomato basil mixture. Combine well, taste, and add more salt and/or pepper, if needed. Add diced mozzarella and toss.