Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Pasta

If you haven't guessed it already, I love summer and I love summer vegetables.  This dish is so fresh and delicious that you don't have to feel guilty about eating it (if you every feel guilty eating food). It is quick easy and affordable.  Basil, fresh tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and fresh mozzarella are some of my favorite flavors, and thankfully they all go really well together!  Walla, a perfect meal!  I hope you try it, because soon it will become one of your favorite dishes too!
Summer Pasta
1 lb pasta
1 quart (or two pints) mixed colored cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
6 oz. fresh mozzarella balls (cherry sized, cut into fourths)
S+P to taste

Put 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar into a pan and let it reduce in size (10 min), then add olive oil with the cherry tomatoes.  Cook for another 4-5 minutes.  You want the cherry tomatoes to get a little soft and juicy, but not to over cook them.  Place pan aside to let cool.  Cook pasta until el dente.  Rinse under cold water, once tomatoes are cooled for 10 mins. or so add the pasta, and the rest of the ingredients.  If the pasta seems too dry, add more olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar.  I serve the meal cold, and thinly slice Marks famous charcoal grilled chicken on top (I keep that warm).

Chicken Marinade
4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper

Place washed chicken and the rest of the ingredients into a Ziploc paper bag and mix together.  Leave in the refrigerator over night.   The key to this chicken is the charcoal grill, and to then slice it extremely thin!!  By slicing it thin you get more flavor in every bite (and as my dad likes to say: "its all surface area").
I absolutely LOVE balsamic vinegar, and when it is paired with fresh mozzarella, basil, and cherry tomatoes it is simply heaven.  This is a meal that I could never get sick of.  The warm, moist and flavorful chicken on top adds a different texture that really compliments the dish.

Amy and Andrew made a delicious salad fresh from their garden.  The best part of the salad was the hint of fresh dill and basil added to it.  Not to mention Amy's homemade honey mustard dressing!  Yummmmmmm!

 Fino a Amico, (to friends)
Mary Proulx

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