Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Caprese Pasta

If you haven't heard from last Wednesday's post, August is tomato month at Badger Kitchen! Get excited gardeners, farmer's market goers, and tomato enthusiasts. This month we're featuring delicious recipes where the tomato has the starring role. This time of year, we find ourselves with tomatoes up to our ears! So look no further to find your next exciting recipe before you decided to cut that tomato up to just toss it into your side salad. C'mon now, your tastebuds are craving something new!

When I found this recipe at How Sweet It Is, I knew exactly how I was going to use it. I made it on a Sunday afternoon because it's a pasta dish. And pasta dishes warm up nicely as leftovers. So, it was going to be my go-to lunch for the coming work week. Yum, my lunch breaks were the highlight of the day. Oh and I had some gakwers this week as the aroma of basil filled the break room. 

Basil has to be one of my favorite fresh herbs. So delicious and it really is one of the main elements in this dish. Well, it is caprese pasta, after all. But surprisingly, my favorite part of this dish is biting into one of the juicy tomatoes. Just cooked enough, they add a refreshing burst of goodness amongst the mozzarella and noodles. 

1/2 box noodles
1 c. pasta sauce
1/3 c. half and half
1/3 c. parmesan cheese, grated
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved or left whole (whatever your liking is!)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
Extra cheese for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil pasta, following directions on box.
3. Heat pasta sauce, half and half, and parmesan cheese in a saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally.
4. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and place in a large bowl. Add mozzarella, sauce, tomatoes, and basil. Toss to combine. 
5. Place into a buttered 8X8 dish and garnish with more cheese, if desired. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. I love some extra crispy bites of cheese and noodles so I also broiled my dish for about 5 minutes at the end. 

Enjoy right away or as leftovers!
- Brittany

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