Written by Chris –
One would think that with school back in session life would be less hectic, right? I was thrilled when school started, now I am wishing summer was back. Now it’s homework and after-school activities times three. Throw in two puppies and work… Ah, life is a balancing act!
With so many balls in the air, one thing I never skip on is dinner with my family. Whether that means making something from scratch, a frozen meal, cereal for dinner, etc., it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we all sit together and connect over food. This tradition started when I was a young child, and I’m happy to share with my family.
This Linguine Caprese is one of my favorite weeknight meals because it can be put together in a matter of minutes – plus the entire family loves it. Plum tomatoes are sautéed in garlic and olive oil, and then tossed with pasta, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. It doesn’t get any easier! Plum tomatoes are at their best (in my opinion) late summer and early fall. Late plum tomatoes are great for sauce (they have been on the vine the longest so they are ripe and full of flavor!). The skins can be easily removed by blanching them, but quite honestly, I don’t take the time to do it.
Ingredients for 3 generous servings (recipe can easily be doubled):
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 pounds fresh ripe plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped or 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 package (9 ounces) BUITONI Refrigerated All Natural Linguine
- 1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese (or bocconcini)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
BRING a large pot of water to a boil.
PLACE oil and garlic in large skillet; cook over medium-high heat for 30 seconds or until it begins to sizzle. Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to juice up. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens (as shown above). Set aside.
PREPARE pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with tomato mixture as shown above. (I like to reserve about a cup of pasta water and add that to the pasta and sauce.)
STIR in cheese and basil; toss to coat as shown above.
Season with salt and pepper, and that is it! Easy, right? That is my son above inhaling the pasta. I think this is his favorite pasta dish! What are your favorite weeknight meals?
More pasta recipes:
Broccoli Pesto Linguine
Baked Chicken Parmesan Linguine