Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Margherita Pasta - March Pasta of the Month

Time flies when you're having fun!  I almost let March slip by without posting my "pasta of the month".  I don't think there's a classic dish that takes the popular margherita pizza and transforms it into a pasta plate.  But, in my kitchen, anything goes!   The pizza's origin comes from Queen Margherita of Italy.  On a visit to Naples she was served this pizza depicting the colors of the Italian flag, red tomatoes, green basil and white mozzarella.  It works for me!

I love the simplicity of a few basic ingredients, thrown together to mimic the flavors of pizza minus the crust.  Since this was an experiment, I'll recommend some changes.  Use ALL fresh ingredients if you can, especially a soft mozzarella.

Margherita Pasta

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 onion, chopped (optional)

a big handful of fresh basil, chopped

1 - 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, cut or use cherry tomatoes

4-6 oz mozzarella, cubed

pasta of choice

pasta water, 2 ladles

red chili flakes (optional)

Heat oil in a large skillet and saute garlic, onions and tomatoes.  Meanwhile cook the pasta reserving some pasta water before draining.    After draining add the pasta, fresh basil and pasta water to the skillet.  Mix well and throw in the mozzarella, mixing again.  Then serve.  Super simple, but tasty!  Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top  because I love those on my pizza!

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