Mary Beth Clark

Culinary Educator · Consultant · Author

Rigatoni with Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

The versatility of pomodorini scoppiati, Burst Cherry Tomatoes, makes it a great "go to" recipe for cooks, especially for pasta. Made a day or two in advance and refrigerated, all you have to do is boil pasta when reheating the tomatoes. Adorn with fresh basil leaves, and small cherry-sized fresh mozzarella repeating the size of the cherry tomatoes. There is nothing better for a quick, nutritious meal. Each delicious bite literally bursts with flavor.

4 first-course servings or 2 main course servings. Cooking time is about 15 minutes.

1 pound (454 g) rigatoni, mezzi rigatoni or penne

Burst Cherry Tomatoes (Click for the recipe:
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh mozzarella, cherry size, called ciliegini
Extra-virgin olive oil
Grated aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Boiling the Pasta: In a deep pot, bring lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta, stirring  occasionally to prevent it from sticking together. While the pasta is boiling, scoop out 1/2 cup (120 ml) pasta cooking water and reserve. Boil the pasta until it is firm al dente because it continues cooking with the sauce.

2. Combining with Burst Cherry Tomatoes: One minute before the pasta is finished boiling, warm the Burst Cherry Tomatoes over medium heat in a non-stick pan. Drain the pasta, leaving a little water clinging to it, and immediately add it to the tomatoes. Toss thoroughly coating the pasta. Add some reserved pasta cooking water as needed to keep the pasta moist and to create a light, glossy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, add fresh basil leaves and mozzarella, gently toss all together. Plate. Drizzle a thin stream of olive oil over then sprinkle with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.


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