Thursday Night Menu: Fresh and Easy Edition

Tonight’s menu is a cheat. I’ve posted the Pasta Caprese before (late last summer), but it is such a good summer meal, it bears repeating. And besides it’s my birthday. I’ve taken the day off to do fun stuff. Enjoy!

On the board tonight:

  1. Pasta Caprese
  2. Italian Bread
  3. Vanilla Ice Cream w/Warm Walnut Topping

Pasta Caprese

  • 9 oz linguine or fettuccine
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 oz cubed mozzarella
  • salt & pepper to taste

saucepan and large serving dish

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While it’s cooking, mix remaining ingredients together. Drain pasta completely (dab with paper towels, if necessary) then add to tomato mixture. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors blend. Serve warm or you can refrigerate and serve cold. Add a nice loaf of bread for a complete dinner.

I use a fairly expensive mozzarella for this dish because it’s softer, tastier and absorbs more flavors. Any locally produced mozzarella would work. Also, my local farmers’ market has a pasta vendor, who hand-makes many flavors of pasta. This dish works very well with flavored pastas – fire roasted chili, lemon pepper, tomato basil, red bell pepper – the list goes on. You can also change up the cheese to a Queso Blanco (again, use a fairly expensive or locally produced one), use cilantro instead of basil and use a chili flavored pasta for a whole new dish. The possibilities are endless.

A yogurt shop used to serve this as a topping and I had to make it.  Also really good on pancakes, French Toast and German Pancakes.

Warm Walnut Topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

saucepan

Heat sugars, syrup and water to a low boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer until thickened, 10-12 minutes. Stir in butter and walnuts. Great over pancakes, too.

Shopping List:

  • 9 oz linguine or fettuccini
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 4 oz mozzarella
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • Nice loaf of Italian bread
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 oz light corn syrup
  • 12 oz chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 gallon quality vanilla ice cream

Also: olive oil, crushed garlic, butter

4 thoughts on “Thursday Night Menu: Fresh and Easy Edition

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