This is another recipe that is really just a starting point for your creativity and what you have on hand. You can use any type of tomatoes, as long as they are ripe and juicy- and at room temperature. You can also add other vegetables- some grated zucchini or a few handfuls of baby spinach or kale. Also feel free to toss in some protein, like leftover cooked shrimp, roast chicken, or pork, or a can of tuna. When you chop the tomatoes, make sure to scrape the juices from the cutting board into the serving bowl along with them- that’ll be the flavor base for this easy, uncooked sauce.
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- Kosher salt
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- Peperoncino flakes
- 1 pound mezzi rigatoni
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Chop tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces, and add them and their juices to a serving bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon peperoncino. Toss, and let sit while you cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water. Meanwhile, combine the basil, parsley, and garlic in the work bowl of a mini-food processor. Pulse to make a chunky paste. With the machine running, add the olive oil to make a smooth pesto. Add to the tomato mixture, and toss.
When the pasta is al dente, remove with a spider to the bowl with the tomatoes, and toss well. Add the mozzarella and grated Grana Padano, and toss well again. Season with salt if needed, toss again, and serve.