Oh, Caprese! Lessons From Italy

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

/ Caprese Chicken / Caprese Pizza / Snack time / Appetizer for my friend's baby shower at our house /

When I moved to Rome, the very first thing I was taught how to make was Pasta Caprese. A chef took a group of us to her villa in the Roman countryside after we spent a day in the markets picking fresh ingredients, and together we learned to cook an Italian feast, which we later ate on her gorgeous open patio. Can I just stop there for a second!? That sentence still totally blows my mind. If any of you are still in school and have an opportunity to study abroad, please please do! Up until meeting Cam, it was the biggest, most exciting year of my life.
I think it was in Rome when it finally clicked that simple, fresh ingredients make the best meals.  And that wine goes with everything!! (: I loved this pasta from the moment I first learned to make it & Cam says he could literally eat it every single day. It's his absolute favorite and was his comfort food when he was at the Academy. It's so simple that it's also my easy go-to dinner.  I've improvised a few times but the best is always when I make it straight from how I learned in Roma:
1. Depending on how much pasta you're making, pour the 1-2 cups of EVOO in a large bowl. Crush the garlic cloves {it won't be the same if you use canned garlic!} into the olive oil. Sprinkle in some sea salt. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl, making sure they are completely covered in the olive oil and garlic. Set aside. 

2. Fill a large pot with cold water to about 3/4 full. Once boiling, add a few handfuls of sea salt. I was surprised in the beginning by how much salt I was taught to use, but it really does brings out the flavor and now this is how I make pasta every single time. Cook the rigatoni al dente, stirring often. Strain, but do not rinse. Set aside until it cools. 

3. Chop the basil and cube the mozz. Add the pasta to the bowl of olive oil, garlic and tomatoes, combining the basil and mozzarella as well. Mix and add more olive oil if it needs it.

Buon appetito!

19 comments:

  1. Anonymous1.8.12

    WOW! Dopo aver visto questo, devo andare assolutamente a mangiare qualcosa!!!!!!!!!!! bacioni

    Ana

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  2. Looks amazing! Might have to make it tonight. -Heidi http://fabricandfrosting.blogspot.no/

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  3. wow this looks so good! and easy enough for even ME to do it! ;) will try this week..

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  4. I didn't know you lived in Italy! Amazing. I love the combo of basil, tomatoes and fresh mozzerella. Yumm!

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  5. I love colorful tasty food! xoxo

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  6. since going dairy-free the absolute thing I miss the MOST EVER is fresh mozzarella! ahhhh, to die for. I've found great substitutes for EVERYTHING else, but not for cheese, boo! Oh well, i'll always have the memories of when I lived in Italia ate ate mozz with ANYTHING and everything, haha! bacci amica! ci parliamo doppo! amore:) Katie

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  7. The thing I miss most about my few months spent in Italy are by FAR how fresh and incredible all the food was. They are just effortless in their culture and cooking. Your pasta looks amazing!

    -Alyssa
    The Glossy Life

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  8. Mmmm - looks delicious... and easy!

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  9. Your photos are beautiful! I'm going to Italy in a week and I'm so excited.

    http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com

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  10. I'm studying abroad in Italia next semester! (So, in the Spring.) I am SO excited and you just got me even more excited. I'll have to email you before I leave for any recommendations!

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  11. That pasta looks delicious! YUM!

    xo Kayla

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  12. Stop. This is making me miss Italy so much! I loveeeee anything caprese. I'm definitely making this soon!

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  13. and I now know what I am making for dinner tonight

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  14. I just love everything about this post! I so miss Italy...

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  15. I think this could become my go to dinner as well. I love all of the photos from Italy. So many wonderful memories.

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  16. Your photos are always so amazing!

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  17. i love that everything you make is so fresh

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  18. The photos on this post are immaculate! And the recipe sounds like a must. Can't wait to try it out!

    xox, hm

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