August 10, 2011

Creamy Caprese Pasta

I am on roll with vegetarian keeper recipes...if you can count two recipes as an official "roll". I don't remember how I came across this dish; I think it popped up in my Facebook feed for a "Meatless Monday" meal idea. Although we had it on a Tuesday night, it was still easy to put together and delicious.

Creamy Caprese Pasta
Adapted from:

1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
1 cup of your favorite pasta/tomato sauce
1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds
6-8 slices of provolone
1 pint of grape tomatoes (I cut some in half and left some whole)
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. Once warm, stir in heavy cream and grated Parmesan. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and dump into the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off heat. Fold in mozzarella cubes and tomatoes, then chop 3-4 fresh basil leaves and add them in too. Once combined, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire pasta mixture into the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds, provolone slices, and more Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let it cool slightly. Top with additional fresh basil and serve.

The Result:
This pasta dish was both fresh tasting and homey. My family loved it and polished off the whole pan. I consider this a perfect summertime pasta dish!

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