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.