Tomato and Basil Pasta al Fresco
When you want something fantastically easy, light and healthy for dinner !
- 1 small box spiral pasta, or angel hair
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced [ 1 tsp garlic powder]
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints) [ or 3 medium vine ripe—diced]
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn [2 TB dried]
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 or 2 TB balsamic vinegar [to taste]
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
- **options: 1 cup small pitted black olives, and/or 1 cup shredded chicken
Cook pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally as directed on box.
In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and basil, saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Toss to combine. Serve topped with fresh grated mozzarella.
** Ok, ok , so I seriously simplified this by using garlic powder since the fresh garlic I used the first time was too intense. I put the olive oil in a coffee mug with the garlic powder , salt , pepper, and dried basil-- then heated then all together for 1 minute, stopping halfway through to stir.** You can use vine ripe tomatoes too and it's still fantastic. Even better cold after a few hours in the fridge.