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Fresh Tomato Pasta Caprese

Utilize your  garden bounty  to make fresh tomato  sauce for a homestyle Italian  pasta caprese, plus  tips on  making tomato powder for your  spice  pantry.

Fresh Tomato Pasta Caprese

Fresh Tomato Pasta Caprese

By Sue  Lau | Palatable  Pastime

My recipe of the day is for a fresh  tomato pasta caprese, which utilizes the best of your garden bounty (that is, fresh garden tomatoes and fresh sweet basil).

One of the  things that is  unfortunate if  you  don’t take measures when cooking  with tomatoes (and  peeling those) is the  skins, which will either be flaked off during  the  cooking  process for an unsightly mess or be ground  into little  visible bits, both of which are unappealing in pasta.

Fresh Tomato Pasta Caprese

Fortunately, there is an easy way  around it.

Did you  know that if you cut tomatoes in half, and rub them cut side down over a box grater,  you can catch a very tasty fresh tomato sauce? And the best part is  that you can grate away all the pulp and  leave the flesh.

Grating fresh tomatoes for sauce

But why stop  there?

But don’t  be  in a rush to simply throw those tomato skins away. Place  them   on a mesh rack,   wet side up, in a dehydrator  or  low oven (80F-120F:   as low as you can)  and dry those.

Tomato skins ready to dehydrate

Dried Tomato Skins

Once dried put them into a spice mill and  buzz them up. Put the powder through a fine  mesh strainer to catch the naughty bits (and put those through the mill  again).

Grinding tomato skins into powder

And what you will end  up with is spice magic (and you can buy this stuff from the  spice guy at an exorbitant price,   but  why would  you?)

Sifted Tomato powder

But what do you do with it exactly?

I swear  to you on my cooks honor, that this  can  be your secret weapon in all sorts of  things, from meat rubs to  roasting sprinkles,  to   stirring into a dip. Wherever you wished  you could have that nice tomato flavor without  all  the  chunky tomato wetness.

Storing tomato powder

Okay, secret tips accomplished.

You’ll come  back to  the recipe  with me now,  k? I know your mind  is  still on all  the  wondrous things  you’ll be doing  with the dried tomato powder, but lots of  time for  that later,  right?

Fresh  Tomato Sauce

The pulp  you got  from the gratings  will  be  added  to  the   heat,  but we are not  going to be  cooking it- just warming it up to a nice eating temperature.

fresh tomato sauce

There will  also be fresh bocconcini mozzarella pearls added and fresh basil leaves, but we don’t really want to cook those either. We want fresh taste,  right? So  let’s do it!

The  pasta

I used a nice imported pasta in this which is basically glorified scroodles. They called it fusillata casareccia. But come on.  It’s not that snobby-  I saw another package of similar pasta for about quadruple the price: strozzapreti was its name.

But damn they certainly are pretty. Honestly,  you can use anything  you want in  this- even the cheapest American rotini. So  it’s not about being high brow  or low brow with the pasta.

You just want to  be  on your toes with the sauce and no one  is going to notice where  your  pasta was made, to be honest. In America we can stick  any  noodle  in our hat and  call  it  macaroni. It’s the American way.

Not a Cincinnati 5-Way (That’s a Story for Another Day) but I digress.

Mmm. Chili spaghetti.

Calm down, Texan friends! 😉

Fresh Tomato Pasta Caprese

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Fresh Tomato Pasta Caprese

Prep Time20 mins
Pasta8 mins
Course: Main Dish, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: caprese, fresh tomato sauce, how to make tomato powder, pasta
Author: Sue Lau

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated fresh tomato pulp
  • 16 ounces pasta cooked al dente (I used fusillata casareccia, which I think means Roman fusilli/corkscrews)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon nonpareil capers the small ones
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish if desired
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves torn
  • 2 cups halved fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls

Instructions

  • Grate fresh tomatoes (cut in half), flesh side down on a grater placed over a bowl to catch the sauce; reserve remaining tomato skins for tomato powder.
  • Cook your pasta al dente (to the tooth) according to your package directions, drain.
  • Heat oil in the emptied pasta pot with the garlic, nonpareil small capers, tomato paste, salt and pepper.
  • Toss the pasta with this mix in the pot to coat.
  • Add the fresh tomato sauce and heat until just warm to taste.
  • Remove pasta from heat and add the Parmesan, basil leaves, cherry tomatoes and mozz pearls. These do not cook at all, except from residual heat.
  • Sprinkle with a little more Parm before serving if you want. I also do pepper flakes on mine, but that is not shown.

Notes

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com

And from blogging friends:

Charred Corn,  Zucchini and Arugula Pizza

charred corn, zucchini, and arugula pizza | The Baking Fairy #FarmersMarketWeek

Warm  Pasta Salad with  Tomatoes and Zucchini

Warm Pasta with Grilled Zucchini and Tomato 2

Marinated Zucchini  and  Summer Squash

marinated zucchini and summer squash

Tomato,  Garlic & Basil  Bruschetta

Homemade Giardiniera

Don’t  Forget to Pin!

Fresh Tomato Pasta Caprese

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8 responses

  1. Looks delicious Sue, so bright and fresh! And love the idea of making a seasoning from the tomato skins. Def going to have to try that!
    And thanks for including my Warm Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Zucchini!

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