Everytime I navigate to a food blog I always wonder where their top picture came from.  You know, the one at the top of the blog that features some sort of food.  The Wednesday Chef has some herbs, POC has some lemon rind and mine has some cherry tomatoes looking like juicy red jewels (look up).  Were these pictures taken especially for the top banner or were they part of a photo taken while cooking.  I bet you are just dying to know?!!

Well, ok, you might not be that interested, but I will tell you anyways.  The cherry tomatoes are from a picture I took while making this here recipe.  Now you know!  Mystery solved.  See you next time.

Oh, you want to know the recipe?  (I am so lame.)  Well, it is a snap.  It is quick to whip up and is a really nice meal or side.  Who doesn’t like caprese anyways?  Those short towers of fresh mozzarella, a slice of ripe tomato topped with a leaf of basil and showered in olive oil.  All this recipe does is warm everything up and add some pasta.  You’re gonna love it.

Warm Caprese Pasta Salad

This is one of those recipes that I saw somewhere or watched on tv and made it so many times without a recipe that I totally forget where it comes from.  So…it’s mine now?

1 small clamshell of cherry tomatoes cut in half  (you can substitute in grape tomatoes or diced large tomatoes)

3 tbsp olive or veg oil

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 large buffalo mozzarella ball or several minis

1 handful of fresh basil

2-3 cups dry pasta (your fave)

Start with heating the oil in a pan.  Add the garlic and cook for about 1 min, until the garlic is fragrant.  Add in the tomatoes.  If you are using cherry or grape tomatoes, cut them in half and place them cut side down in the pan (like in the photo above).  Simmer the tomatoes on medium heat and do not stir.

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil for the pasta.  In a large serving bowl, tear up the mozzarella and the basil into bite sized pieces.  I usually go heavy on the basil since I want that heavenly taste with every bite!

Check in on the tomatoes.  When they are soft, you can press them down with a fork.  This kind of mushes them up and turns them into a sauce.  You can now stir and get everything moving. If you want your sauce on the liquidy side, then cover with a lid and simmer on low.  If you less liquidy sauce then let the tomatoes simmer without a lid.

Once the pasta is ready, drain and toss it into the large serving bowl already containing the mozza and basil.  Pour over the sauce and stir.  The mozza will melt and become stringy and the basil will be oh-so-frangrant.  Serve as the entire meal, vegetarian style, or add to a meal as a side.