I was wandering through Target the other day and ran across Giada's line of pasta. I didn't realize she had branched out into food items, and was mesmerized by the different types of pasta that I had not seen before. And one kind kept catching my attention - it is called "casarecce". It looks a bit like rigatoni but with a groove or slit down the middle - all the better to catch whatever saucy goodness it is swimming in. And it does that SO well!!
So clearly I bought the box and decided to make the recipe on the back of the box - it was so simple, full of fresh ingredients and a quick meal that will satisfy even the strongest craving for Italian food!! And it gave me a chance to pick fresh basil off my kitchen plant. It is happily thriving in the windowsill. I have not been able to keep it growing outside for more than a month, but it seems very happy enjoying the sun in the garden window!
So here is the recipe - compliments of Giada De Laurentis and Target!
|Note the beautiful basil plant on the left! YUM!|
CASARECCE ALLA CAPRESE
1 pound (box) Giada Casarecce
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (I used 4!)
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (this was the most difficult part of the recipe - be sure you have a very sharp knife or you will become frustrated quickly and have a lot of smashed tomatoes!)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 oz. (roughly 1 1/4 cups) fresh mozzarella, diced
Fill a large stock pot with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to directions, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes, until pasta is tender but firm. Remove from heat and drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Rinse in warm water to keep it separated and ready to add to the sauce.
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until it smells wonderful, about 2 minutes. Add quartered tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes begin to soften, smashing with a spoon as they begin to make a chunky sauce. The directions say about 4 minutes; it took mine 6-8 to really soften and start to resemble a sauce! Add the cooked pasta, basil leaves, cheese, and reserved cooking liquid, as needed, (I used between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup) until the consistency is how you want it, and the pasta is coated in sauce and the cheese has melted. Serves 6-8.
This tastes SO fresh and so good, It would make a great summer meal too. And it can be a main dish or a side dish. I added about 1/4 cup of cooked crumbled bacon to give it a little more taste and texture. Next time I will add pancetta. Yes, I will definitely make this again. Pin It Now!