Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,
The days are hot, hot, hot and if you are like me you don't want to spend much time in the cucina, so don't. Take the kids to the pool, read a novel on the porch, make a batch of fresh lemonade and invite a friend over for a refreshing drink.
The following recipe for a "no cook" pasta is easy to make anytime, but it tastes best during the lazy days of summer and when the tomatoes and basil are most flavorful.
And remember Italian prefer their pasta "al dente," or "to the tooth." Check your pasta often while cooking it to insure that it doesn't lose its firmness and become soft and mushy.
1 pound ripe, juicy cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
10 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized pieces
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound penne pasta
Slice the tomatoes in half. Toss the tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, basil, oil, sea salt, and red and black pepper in a large bowl. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, toss with tomato mixture and pass around Parmesan cheese.
Carmela Tursi Hobbins