summer linguine with fresh hand formed mozzarella
July 24, 2013 § 49 Comments
Right now heirloom cherry tomatoes are starting to appear in the markets in great quantities and I could not be happier. Although I have five different cherry sized heirloom varietals growing in my own garden, which still need a few more weeks to ripen, I found myself with a basket of them at the checkout stand. This particular market makes their own hand formed mozzarella and offers the best artisanal crusty breads the city has to offer. With my greek basil bush doing so well I decided I would make bruscetta “caprese style” for lunch today.
We sliced the tomatoes in half, put them in a bowl with fresh bush basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. We let it sit and marinade for 30 minutes. The tomatoes were placed on top of crusty bread and a slice of fresh mozzarella. A fabulous lunch, of which I did not photograph.
With a large bowl of marinaded tomatoes and half of the fresh mozzarella left I extended the caprese idea into a summer pasta.
To the marinaded tomatoes I added minced garlic, a little more basil and some of the best cheese I have had in awhile…Grana Lodigiano. A hard texture cheese much the same as Grana Padano. I liked it’s black rind which I learned is a tradition held onto for centuries. In ancient times the wheels were matured with a clay coating, grapeseed oil and charcoal. This compound gave it a black hue. Today the wheels are still hand coated with natural ingredients to create the same black hue to specifically set it apart from Parmesan. I do enjoy talking with the cheese monger at the market…
I n g r e d i e n t s
- 1 pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded basil leaves
- 8 ounces fresh hand formed mozzarella cheese, diced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- sprinkling salt and black pepper
- 3/4 pound linguine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Lodigiano cheese or Parmesan cheese
M e t h o d
Place the tomatoes, garlic basil, mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Stir to mix and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain briefly, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water. Add pasta and reserved water to the tomato mixture. Add the Grana Lodigiano and toss to mix. Serve right away while the pasta is still warm.
this looks sooo good. Really, the one good thing about summer, all the amazing produce! (spoken as a grumpy, heat&humidity hating Northerner) I just read an article last night about heirloom green beans (which I’ve never seen) and fell in love with the idea of getting my hands on some. Hopefully the trend to save unique bean seeds & cultivate them will spread to more small farms.
I agree about the summer produce! I have been happy as a clam in the cold sea since we moved out of the Nevada desert to the cool, cloudy Pacific Northwest. People complain about the clouds and rain here….I love it. I don’t usually say that too loudly though. :)
haha, I certainly couldn’t handle the desert.
That sounds like a great summer pasta dish!
I love the freshness of the ingredients. And even tastier when the sauce is uncooked. The boiling water for the pasta is the only heat being generated in the already hot kitchen. :)
Gorgeous post Seana. I adore fresh cherry tomatoes, especially the extra-tasty heirloom ones. Wish I could’ve seen your bruschetta, I think I would’ve drooled right onto my keyboard (considering that, it’s good that I didn’t see it!). I’ve never tried Grana Lodigiano, I’ll look out for it. Sounds delicious! xx
Thank you Laura! You mean drool like I did when I dreamily read and viewed your pulled pork post? The bruchetta was one of those lunches I decided beforehand not to photograph or post….and then It bugged me a little when I was trying to enjoy and I could not quit thinking about taking photographs! I mean, come on…enjoy the lovely meal and don’t worry about posting it. (I’m sure this happens to you quite often too)
Hahahaaa yes, I guess so! And I completely agree that we food bloggers need to sometimes sit back and just enjoy our food without drifting off to “this would be great in a post!” world!! I only post about… maybe 10% of the food I cook. I don’t think it’s fair to subject my husband and friends to photography sessions whilst their food gets cold! It’s a hard balance though, as I have so many great savoury recipes that I’d like to share. I’ll get there eventually.. it’s a learning experience xx
Beautiful tomatoes. What a great pasta dish for the summertime.
It really is…I like how the handmade mozzarella stays solid, yet melts enough to coat the pasta. I used a very good quality pasta and the flavor really stood out since I did not drench it with sauce.
Perfect dish to fully enjoy the ripe flavor of cherry tomatoes!
I can not get enough cherry tomatoes. Last year I planted 3 plants and my husband and I “fought” over them. It was a game of who could get the ripe ones first! Clearly I did not plant enough. This year I have 5 plants. We’ll see….
Goodness! This looks so fresh AND Delicious!
Thank you! :)
Mmmm… so good. I love caprese whether with bread or pasta it’s delicious. So excited to see good tomatoes at the market.
This is the one pasta dish I long for when the tomatoes are not in season. I even use rice in place of the pasta at times. Caprese rice. :)
Nothing beats the classics, especially with pasta, and this looks lovely indeed!
Thank you very much. :)
All my favoutite ingredients on a plate. Can’t wait for summer.
I know…it is a little odd to see seasonal recipes from other parts of the world. However, beet chips are definitely good year round. :)
I love them tomatoes!
I love pasta salads in the summer and caprese salad is always great. I’m waiting on my tomatoes and basil too :)
The tomatoes can not ripen fast enough for me! I keep buying them from the store…and they really are not cheap when you buy the really good organic heirlooms!
That is one beautiful pasta dish! Fresh cherry tomatoes, basil and pasta alone make a lovely meal. Adding freshly made mozzarella and Grana takes it to a whole other level!
This is so fresh! It’s the perfect summer meal. You really don’t get much better than this. Just lovely!
Thank you for your kind comment. :)
Nothing beats fresh mozzarella! I love summer pastas—such bright and fresh flavours.
Thank you Irina. Your Thailand post was so gorgeous. I thought about it a few times today. :)
Yum Yum Yum! I adore anything with tomatoes and mozzarella! Gotta make this! :)
Yes! This is so delicious, you must make it. I think the fresh mozzarella in brine is every bit as wonderful as the hand formed. Most likely not much of a difference at all. Hope you make it and enjoy! :)
Those gorgeous tomatoes! And I love trying new kinds of cheese–sounds like a great meal!
Just perfect! The only flaw I detect is that it did not make its way into my very own tummy.
Hehe! Thank you Azita. :)
I wish I could visit your market! “Best artisanal crusty breads” is drool-worthy. Love the recipe!
Thank you Sarah. I imagine you have some pretty spectacular crusty breads in and around your neighborhood too!
beautiful recipe and thanks so much for sharing the information on the cheese Grana Lodigiano – I have never heard of that one before, off to Italy soon so will keep my eyes open for a round :)!
Awww. Italy. You are very fortunate to visit. Thank you for your comment. :)
I nominated you for a Kreativ blogger award. This beautiful blog is a perfect example of why I picked you =]
Thank you so much Gabby! You are so kind to nominate me for the Kreativ blogger award. I’ll put together a post right away! :) Congratulations to you. You and your blog is well deserving!
Yay! So glad you’re doing it. Sharing other bloggers is so important, I love the idea of awards like this.
Such a light summer-y pasta dish! Love the combination and it looks delightful!
Seem to be missing out on your posts right now. And your last response didn’t come through. Thanks re the thought of sending fresh bay leaves! Oh yes, home-made custard always springs to mind.
– I never see heirloom toms here. Such a shame. Although, I’ve been buying on the vine and they’re surprisingly good for hothouse bred. As for Grana Lodigiano, I’ve never heard of it. As I prefer Grana Padano over Parmesan I’m sure to love it.
I have had some great on the vine-hothouse tomatoes. Can’t complain about those! Interesting how there can be so many choices when really the flavors are not that far off….such as Grana Lodgiano / Grana Padano and tomatoes for that matter. Nice to hear from you. :)
Perfect August recipe– we’re brining in tomatoes from the yard every day. thanks.
Oh good! Mine are still green… Hope you have a chance to try this.
This has my name written all over it! :-) Sounds delicious!! I can hardly wait until my cherry tomatoes are ripe – I have picked 4 so a bunch should be coming soon and I can try your recipe.
Lucky you to have at least 4 already! :) Mine are all still so green. It has been an interesting growing season here in Seattle. I have a cherry tomato plant that is at least 6 feet high! It’s loaded with green tomatoes right now, but we are barely reaching 70°F this week… hope you get a chance to try the pasta, it really is wonderful.