Summer Pasta is a tasty, meatless delight bursting with fresh flavor. It's also a just a good, classic recipe to have on hand that relies on simple ingredients - juicy, ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, mozzarella and pasta. Make this quick and easy dinner or side dish using the best summer vegetables you can find.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot diced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes any variety, sliced in half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons basil leaves torn in pieces
- 1 cup mozzarella, fresh variety in water torn in pieces
- 9 ounce spaghetti, fresh or 5 cups cooked long pasta, dried variety
- Olive oil for serving
In a large non-stick saute pan, add the olive oil and diced shallot, cook on medium high heat until soft, 3-5 minutes.
Add the sliced cherry tomatoes to the pan, stirring to gently coat the tomatoes with the olive oil and shallots. Cook until the tomatoes start to break down and release their juices, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and continue to cook on medium high heat until the mixture is soft and juicy, another 5-7 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and butter, stirring gently to combine. Continue cooking for another minute or two to absorb some of the liquid just added.
Keep the sauce warm with a lid on the saucepan pot or by keeping on the low setting of your stove while you cook the pasta. Cook according package directions, adding a generous teaspoon of salt to the pasta water before bringing to the boil. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and set aside in case it's needed to loosen up the pasta and sauce once you combine them together. Add the pasta to the skillet with the tomato sauce, using a little of the pasta water if needed to keep the sauce a little loose. Using kitchen tongs or a large spoon, toss the pasta and the sauce together gently until combined.
Remove the pasta from stove and add in the torn mozzarella and fresh basil leaves.
Add a pinch more salt and pepper to taste. Serve each portion with a drizzle of your best olive oil on top.
Fresh, refrigerated pasta (found in well-stocked grocery stores) works great here, and my current favorite is Manini's Gluten Free Spaghetti. Any long variety of dried pasta works great too.
You can scale this recipe up or down, just figure a generous cup of tomatoes to make the sauce per person. You can totally eyeball this....because:
Leftovers are great cold or reheated for lunch the next day :)
I love to serve this alongside salmon or other grilled fish, a chicken breast or add cooked shrimp to the pasta for a twist on the original!
This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated :)
Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 776mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1103IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 2mg