One-Pot Caprese Pasta
Prep: 30 minutes
You know that summer has reached its height when the tomatoes in the garden are finally ready—like they are now at Morningside Urban Farm.
This year, Carilion Clinic's Community Health and Outreach Team is harvesting an especially big bumper crop of cherry tomatoes there.
Cherry tomatoes have the same kind of health benefits as bigger tomatoes (like a high amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps fight inflammation in the body), but are bite-sized with thin, delicate skin. They're perfect with pasta dishes like the Caprese pasta below.
"Caprese" refers to that most summery of trios: fresh tomato, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella. It traditionally describes a salad but can be applied to other dishes, too—in this case, a pasta recipe that's satisfying yet still light enough to eat on warm summer evenings.
And if you're accustomed to cooking your pasta and its sauce in two separate pieces of cookware, then you're going to love this one-pot recipe from Angela Charlton, R.D.-N.
The linguine and sauce cook at the same time, in the same pot. That means less work, less mess and more time for you to enjoy.
Feel free to swap your favorite pasta shape for the linguine, or to use whole grain, gluten-free or even vegetable pasta. Just keep in mind you might need to adjust the cooking time.
While mozzarella is naturally lower in fat than many other types of cheese, reduced-fat or fat-free options are also available if that's your preference.
4 cups water
8 ounces dry linguine
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus a little extra for garnish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients, except mozzarella cheese and balsamic vinegar, to a large stockpot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, about 8-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
- Remove pasta from heat and toss with chopped mozzarella.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with additional fresh basil and serve.