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It's No-Simmer Time, and the Sauce Is Easy

July 31, 2002|JANET McCRACKEN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Fresh tomatoes are so incredible right now, who wants to cook them?

In this easy pasta dish, chunks of red, ripe tomatoes are combined with fresh basil leaves, olive oil, garlic and diced fresh mozzarella, then tossed with hot penne. This quick sauce easily beats one that would simmer for a long time, heating up the kitchen. Only the pasta needs cooking; start out with the hottest tap water so that when heated, it quickly comes to a boil.

Because the sauce is a bit garlicky, balance out the meal with a baguette and a salad tossed with a parsley vinaigrette.

Plates, napkins and place mats from Pier 1 Imports.

If you use cherry tomatoes, leave small tomatoes whole and cut large tomatoes in half.

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Pasta With Fresh Tomato Sauce

Active Work Time: 10 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes * Vegetarian

1 pound penne

Salt

1 pound tomatoes, diced into 3/4-inch chunks

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

Freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup torn basil leaves

Fill a large pot with hot tap water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and salt to taste. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 13 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, place the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, 2 teaspoons of salt, pepper to taste and the basil into a large serving bowl.

Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the serving bowl. Toss and serve.

4 to 6 servings. Each of 6 servings: 471 calories; 198 mg sodium; 30 mg cholesterol; 36 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 2.35 grams fiber.

MENU

Pasta With Fresh Tomato Sauce

Salad With Parsley Vinaigrette

Baguette

SHOPPING LIST

1 baguette

1 bunch fresh basil

Fresh mozzarella

1 bunch parsley

1 pound penne

1 bag salad greens

Tomatoes

STAPLES

Garlic

Extra-virgin olive oil

Red wine vinegar

COUNTDOWN

25 minutes before: Bring water to boil. Dice tomatoes and cheese, mince garlic.

15 minutes before: Cook pasta.

10 minutes before: Make salad dressing.

Just before serving: Toss pasta with tomato mixture, drizzle dressing over salad.

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Salad With Parsley Vinaigrette

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes

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1 (5-ounce) bag salad greens

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced parsley

Salt, pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

Place the greens in a serving bowl.

Combine the vinegar, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the olive oil.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss and serve.

6 servings. Each serving: 123 calories; 51 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 14 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.27 gram fiber.

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