The famous Italian Caprese salad is made of sliced ripe tomatoes and mozzarella with basil leaves. This pasta dish uses virtually the same ingredients to make a light and fresh-tasting pasta sauce and I top it with toasted breadcrumbs for added texture. Use very ripe, flavoursome tomatoes and a good quality buffalo mozzarella for best results.
- 500g ripe cherry tomatoes
- Pasta for 2 – I use Malfada Corta but shells or bows will work too
- 1 large bunch of fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 x 125g buffalo mozzarella ball
- 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
- 2 tbsps Panko breadcrumbs plus one dessertspoon of oil
- Put the pasta on to cook in plenty of salted boiling water according to the instructions on the packet – usually 12 minutes or so.
- Place the cherry tomatoes in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave for just a minute and then drain. The skins should slip off really easily. Quarter the tomatoes on a chopping board and put them back in the dry bowl with all the juices. Add the olive oil and grated garlic, a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Mix the breadcrumbs with the oil and toast them off in a small frying pan over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
- Drain the pasta and stir through the tomato mixture and the basil leaves.
- Serve in warmed bowls, break the mozzarella into rough pieces and scatter over the pasta. Top with toasted bread crumbs.
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