Want to see what other Pasta recipes were made during the swap? Here is the link to the Pasta Recipe Swap Part 2 Roundup
I need to come clean about something.
I love pasta. Love it. Love with a capital L.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because I'm the one who picks the themes for the recipe swaps, that's why. And since I absolutely love pasta I decided we needed to revisit it as a theme.
I lucked out and received Farefalle with Salsa Cruda from Allison over at The Imitation Chef. Allison has participated in a few swaps and I was excited to see what this recipe had in store for me. Imagine my delight when I realized it was similar to my all-time favorite pasta dish, Pasta Caprese, with the addition of proscuitto, which I knew would make SP very happy.
Unfortunately tomatoes aren't in season right now so I opted to make this with canned diced tomatoes instead. One great thing about this recipe is that you aren't cooking the sauce, so it would be perfect for the summer months when you don't want to be slaving in a hot kitchen. The ingredients sit together in a bowl, getting more and more flavorful as they marry together. I mixed everything up (sans the mozzarella) before I went to pick up Baby Girl from daycare and when we got home the whole house smelled like tomatoes, basil and garlic. Win!
I may or may not have eaten copious amounts of the proscuitto before cooking it. I prefer it uncooked and would probably skip it when making this again, but it was a nice addition. The pine nuts, though, cannot be skipped. They were a wonderful crunch with the gooey cheese and toothsome pasta. I love fresh mozzarella and it's also necessary here. Baby Girl helped me mix this up and then inhaled two bowls of it, picking around the proscuitto and cheese. Silly girl, that's the best part!
As you'd expect, this is even better the next day. I served it just slightly warm, not bubbling hot, and it was perfect. Thank you for a fantastic recipe that will definitely be gracing my table many times this summer, Allison!
Pasta with Salsa Cruda
The Imitation Chef
1 lb penne or other medium-sized pasta
1 1/2 lb tomatoes cored and coarsely chopped (I used 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes, UNdrained)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup basil, slivered
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I omitted)
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 oz prosciutto,, thinly sliced and chopped
Salt and pepper
Put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir well and let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir the mozzarella into the tomato mixture and let stand for 10 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, in a small, dry frying pan over medium high heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring often, until fragrant and pale gold, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. In the same pan, fry up the prosciutto with a teaspoon of olive oil.
After the pasta has cooked until al dente, drain well and add to the salsa, along with the prosciutto. Toss to combine and slightly soften the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add pine nuts. Serve the pasta warm.