Roasted Caprese Pasta

Sometimes, even though it’s the middle of a hot summer,  I want some comfort food.  Although I love grilled veggies and fruit, salads and fish, there comes that time when I just want a dish of pasta.  Typically this time of year is just too hot for that.

We had two weeks of high temperatures and humidity and just when I thought I was at the breaking point we got a cool day.  Well, if you can call 79 degrees cool.  But it was the break I needed and that craving of pasta came crawling back into my brain.

I didn’t want a heavy pasta dish because it was after all still summer.   And then it hit me….. fresh tomatoes from the garden, homemade sausage and mozzarella from our trip to NYC,  with fragrant basil from my herbs..  My version of a caprese pasta was born.

it was substantial enough to meet my requirements of comfort food and yet light enough to still follow the rules of summer eating.  I felt like I had wrapped up in a comfortable sweatshirt and it made me happy.

We all need a break sometime, even if it’s about the weather.  Take advantage of it next time you get one.  You’ll be glad you did!

Roasted Caprese Pasta

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 Large heirloom tomatoes, seeded and rough chopped
  • 1 Large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound pasta of your choice (you can use any type you like best)
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, sliced thin
  • 5 links grilled sweet sausage, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 20 basil leaves, chiffonade (chiffonade is when you roll the leaves up together and slice)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F.

  2. Toss chopped tomatoes and garlic with 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (you could add red pepper flakes at this time if you want it spicy)

  3. Place on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until slightly charred. Set aside.

  4. Heat pasta in salted water according to package directions. Make sure the water tastes like sea water. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

  5. Place sliced onions in a pan with 1 tablespoon oil and cook slowly over medium low heat until caramelized and slightly browned.

  6. Return pasta to pan and add sliced sausage, roasted tomatoes, diced mozzarella, caramelized onions, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and reserved pasta water. Stir everything together until well combined. Add basil and stir again to combine. Taste for seasonings.

  7. Top with grated parmesan if desired and serve immediately.

Summer

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend and guess what comes after that?  You’re right.  SUMMER..  Sweet, sticky, hot, and sunny summer.  This is the time of year that when I get something to drink, I want it cold and sparkly.  I don’t know why but the bubbles in my drink just makes me feel a little less hot!

I have to say that typically if I want a drink, I choose wine.  A dark red wine that is full of body.  Cabernet is my drink of choice for the most part.  However, it is a bit heavy for the summer.  I had to come up with something that was relaxing like my Cabernet, but refreshing and had a little sparkle to it.

What could be better than White Sangria?  I know there are many versions and we all think our version is the best.  Mine really is!  It’s not too sweet, and not too tart.  It’s light and refreshing,  fruity and fun.

It’s what summer is all about.

Summer

Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 bottle Riesling wine
  • 1/2 cup Peach Schnapps
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped of any or all of the following:
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Asian Pear
  • Mango
  • Kiwi
  • 1/4 lemon or lime thinly sliced
  • Up to two cups Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)

Instructions

  1. Pour two bottle of Riesling wine into a gallon pitcher

  2. Add 1/2 cup Peach Schnapps

  3. Add chopped fruit

  4. Stir to combine

  5. Pour into a glass and top with a generous pour of Prosecco (you can also use Champagne if you can’t find the Prosecco)

  6. ENJOY!!

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