Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Meatless Meals: Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta

Today is Ash Wednesday.  And if you are Catholic, like us, you are probably on the hunt for a meatless meal for today and the next 7 Fridays.


One of my very favorite MeatFree options is my Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta!  Serve it with some veggies or a side salad, and you have a great meal where you won't even miss the meat! 


Your Shopping list for the Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta:
  • one pound of pasta - any kind will work - I used Mini Rigatoni 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 galric cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) San Marzano Tomatoes
  • pinch of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cut into cubes
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • a few leaves of fresh basil
  • extra parmesan cheese for garnish and serving

 

Now Let's Make the Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente - drain and set aside
  3. Meanwhile while the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet (any oven safe skillet will work)
  4. Add the garlic and cook until lightly golden and fragrant 
  5. Add the can of tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to your liking
  6. Simmer the tomatoes for at least 10 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes as they cook (I just use the back of my wooden spoon to do this)
  7. Stir in the half and half and the parmesan cheese and mix until the sauce becomes pink
  8. Now add the pasta and half of the cubed mozzarella cheese and toss until all of the pasta is coated with sauce
  9. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and the cherry tomatoes over the top and place skillet in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until the cheese is melted 
  10. Garnish with the fresh basil and extra parmesan 


When I make this dish, I use my Cast Iron Skillet:


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