Linguine with a “Caprese” Sauce of Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella

Well it’s pretty clear that our bolognese excitement was a little premature. It’s still very hot in New York City, and the few days of fall weather have passed. That means it’s still too hot to run our oven or stove for hours, and it means that tomatoes are still good.

And when we say good, we mean, the best.

Herbie, in the dishwasher. 

This caprese pasta is the pinnacle of simplicity. It is exactly what those fancy chefs mean when they say “let the ingredients speak for themselves”. The sweet deliciousness of the tomatoes and basil are what totally make this dish, but having perfectly fresh mozzarella and high quality pasta certainly help.

Making the Dish

Farm fresh tomatoes

This starts and ends with the tomatoes so buy the best tomatoes you can find. You’ll need two or three medium large tomatoes. Cut them into medium sized pieces and put them in a bowl. Then, add a bit of salt to the tomatoes and stir to draw out the water from the tomatoes.

Freshly chopped tomatoes

Add in a touch of freshly grated pepper and some freshly sliced basil to infuse the tomato juice with those flavors, and let the tomatoes sit for about 20 minutes so all the flavors meld together nicely.

Standing guard by the tomatoes

While the tomatoes are resting, slice up the rest of your basil and cut up the mozzarella into chunks.

Dicing up the mozzarella

Then get the pasta going. We used a very high quality pasta for this dish. Previously, we had not been entirely convinced that spending more than a couple of dollars on a box of pasta was worth it. However, we did some research. It turns out that the artisanal pasta is made up of better quality flour and stirred for a longer period of time, making the protein easier for your body to digest. Additionally, its rolled out of bronze dies, vs teflon coated dief, resulting in a rougher texture that makes gives more surface area for soaking up the sauce. In any case, when your meal only has a few ingredients, it’s easy to tell if one is better or worse, so for this dish, spend a few extra dollars and get some nice pasta.

Simmering garlic

While the pasta is cooking in some lightly salted water, start up the sauce. Chop up two cloves of garlic and simmer over medium heat with olive oil. Once it is slightly browned, pour in the tomato juice from the tomatoes (but not the tomatoes themselves).

Pouring the tomato juice into the pan through a strainer

Pour the bowl of tomatoes out into a strainer over the pan, getting all the juice in there but nothing else. Bring to a quick boil and then reduce the heat. Add in a tablespoon of butter and swirl around until the butter is melted.

Adding the linguine to the tomato pan sauce

By this point, the pasta should be done, so add it directly to the pan. Mix it together with half of the basil, half of the tomatoes, and about a quarter of the mozzarella. Toss together over heat, allowing the tomatoes and basil to slightly cook and the mozzarella to melt into the sauce. This will give everything a nice creaminess.

Tossing the linguine with basil, tomato, and mozzarella

Divvy up the pasta and then scatter the remaining basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella over the piles of pasta. Enjoy!

The Result
This is one of our new favorite meals. You can eat it without the mozzarella if you’d like and just savor the tomatoey-ness, but the mozzarella provides a nice cool creaminess that really makes this a caprese over pasta.

Everything about this is great, but what makes it even better is how simple and easy it is. 

So now we’re looking for other easy, simple meals we can make utilizing the end of summer vegetables before it’s too late. Let us know in the comments what we should be doing!

Full ingredient list after the break

Linguine with Caprese Sauce

Written by: Herbie Likes Spaghetti

Super easy and super delicious dish that highlights the delicious sweetness of perfect tomatoes

Prep time:
Cook time:
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1/2 lb linguine
3 large fresh tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 ball fresh mozzarella