Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pasta Alla Checca

Pasta with tomato sauce is a common go-to dinner. It's quick and easy, but your typical canned or bottled pasta sauces often have a lot of added ingredients (such as sugar) that make them not so healthy. This fresh tomato pasta is a light and simple alternative. It highlights the natural goodness of real tomatoes, without all the extra "stuff" of processed sauces. I've found it is perfect in the fall, when you can get such an assortment of tasty tomatoes. It's fun to buy tomatoes in a variety of colors and sizes, and mix them together into this fresh and healthy dish.


Pasta Alla Checca
4 SERVINGS 
PREP: 20 minutes           COOK: 10-15 minutes            READY IN: 30 minutes


  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
pic name       pic name      pic name

INGREDIENTS


  • 3 cups chopped ripe tomatoes* (I prefer smaller varieties such as grape, cherry, or even roma - if I can find ripe ones for a good price)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cups fresh basil, torn or cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, cut into cubes (or shredded, if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (12-oz.) package spaghetti (I used thin whole wheat spaghetti noodles)

DIRECTIONS


  1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil, and vinegar in a bowl. (If roasting the tomatoes, roast them first, let cool, and then combine with the other ingredients.) Let sit while the pasta cooks. 
  2. Boil the pasta in salty water as directed on package. (I've found that breaking the pasta noodles before cooking them into halves or thirds helps them to mix better with the tomato sauce.)
  3. Toss the pasta with the checca sauce, add the mozzarella pieces, and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Yum Tip: 

If your tomatoes aren't extremely ripe or flavorful, you can boost the flavor by roasting them: Place the tomato slices in a baking dish with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and bake for about 20-30 minutes at 350ºF. (I like this post about roasting tomatoes - especially the part where you can pretty much do it however you like, and you won't mess it up!) Or, if you don't have the time, an alternative is to add a small amount (1/2 teaspoon or so) of sugar or honey, plus a little extra vinegar - this will also enhance the flavor of the tomatoes.

NUTRITION FACTS



    1 serving    501 calories   18.5 g fat   65.8 g carbs    21.9 g protein    3.1 g sugar   

Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from The Family Dinner Cookbook.
Linking up here

4 comments:

Jen Nikolaus said...

Yum! This looks so delicious! I love a good pasta dish. I'm following you on FB and Instagram. So excited to see all your great recipes! I love your blog!

Kristin @ Dizzy Busy and Hungry! said...

This is so easy and looks so yummy! I may never buy jarred tomato sauce again! Pinning!

I would love for you to come over and link up at Wine'd Down Wednesday if you get a chance. We are partying from now until Friday! Hope to see you there! http://www.dizzybusyandhungry.com/wined-wednesday-link-party-5/

Cambria said...

Thanks, Jen! We're glad you like it all!

Cambria said...

Great, Kristin! We'll be sure to check it out!

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