The time of year for quick, stove top meals and "I'm never turning the oven on again" moments is upon us.
It's just too hot to be hanging out in the kitchen for days trying to make dinner. Honestly, I'm a salads and smoothies kinda of summer dinner person, supplemented with a fair few Eat24 and Postmates deliveries 😆. If I'm going to cook, it better take less than 30 minutes and require no preheating. Caprese pasta with marina sauce most definitely fits the bill.
Just 20 minutes and you've got light, fresh summertime pasta deliciousness. When Dan and I went to Chicago, after about 3 days we were exhausted and couldn't imagine sitting in another restaurant after walking all day in the heat. Our friends were nice enough to have us over and make us a home cooked dinner, featuring (yup!) a caprese pasta with a simple, tomato and herb sauce. Marinara anyone? I loved it SO much (thank you Nicole and Justin!) I had to recreate it and share it with you.
And guess what? It's SO easy!
As previously mentioned, it's 20 minutes from start to finish, and that includes the fresh marinara sauce! Now I don't know about you, but I like to add a little red wine to my marinara 😎. It gives it a wonderful flavor and does cook off so no boozy sauce here.
Other than that, it's your basic tomatoes, herbs, pinch of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. That's literally the bulk of this recipe. Let it simmer while you boil up some pasta, then toss it all together aaaaand done!
Don't forget the mozzarella balls and fresh, sliced cherry tomatoes! A caprese pasta isn't complete without them, and who could say no to cheesy goodness and a little fresh produce? Recipe in 3..2..Print
For the Pasta
- 1 lb tubular pasta
- 8 ounces small mozzarella balls, drained
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
For the Sauce
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper to taste
- Cook pasta to al dente according to box instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet or pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Pour in tomatoes and red wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in herbs. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let the sauce reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss cooked pasta, tomato sauce, and mozzarella balls together. Top with basil and any leftover thyme and oregano. Serve immediately.