On our trip to Rome this summer I had a delicious pasta dish similar to this one. It was so good that I knew I wanted to recreate it when I got home. I searched high and low for the perfect recipe and couldn’t find one. Finally I saw a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen that I altered to create my favorite pasta dish from Rome. I love the simplicity of it and how all the flavors work together to make this ordinary looking dish into something extraordinary.
Serves: 4 to 6 Time: 30 minutes (plus time to let tomatoes sit)
- 5 large ripe tomatoes (2.5 pounds) halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup minced fresh basil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- 12 ounces penne or fusilli
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- Combine the tomatoes, oil, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let sit out (do not refrigerate) for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours. Stirring occasionally.
- Cook pasta until al dente, make sure to reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, and then drain.
- Toss the pasta with the tomato mixture, add some of the cooking water as needed to loosen the consistency of the sauce. Then stir in the fresh mozzarella.