AKA Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Pasta; AKA "Aidan's Pasta." This Campanelle Caprese Pasta is one of my son Aidan's favorite dishes. He really loved it when he was younger and I still make it for him from time to time. In fact, I just made it because he is leaving for college in a week (sob!). Whenever I make this dish I remember him plucking basil and cherry tomatoes from my grandma's garden and popping them into his mouth when he was just a toddler (sob, sob, sob!).
This pasta is a celebration of summer flavors
I've had this campanelle caprese pasta on my blog to-do list for years. Every tomato season I think 'Oh, I've gotta make that!' while I am happily wallowing in tomato season and have all the fun varieties coming out of my garden. And the basil! I'm growing several varieties this year, but the tiny globe basil leaves are just perfect for this dish. Especially paired with those teeny tiny cutie spoon or currant tomatoes (a pain in the neck to grow and harvest but so cute!). The other basil pictured is a beautiful variegated leaf variety I picked up at our farmers market earlier this year. It is pale green with white accents. Just so darn pretty and it has been thriving in the garden.
Campanelle Caprese is a simple dish, which is why you should use the best, freshest ingredients.
I rarely make this in the colder months because it just is not the same with grocery store tomatoes. If you don't grow your own tomatoes, try to get some fresh, local tomatoes from a farm stand or farmers market and get some unique varieties if you can. This truly is a taste of summer and a celebration of fresh, simple ingredients.
Don't let the simplicity fool you though - this pasta is packed with flavor. The almost invisible sauce is made of extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese, one grated garlic clove, salt, pepper, and a bit of pasta cooking water. The pasta, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella are all tossed with the flavorful mixture and an extra grating of parm if you please. The hot pasta gently warms through the tomatoes and mozzarella. Serve it right away for a warm dish or let it sit at room temp - I love it either way (and it's even good cold the next day).Print