What's For Dinner: Bucatini with Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, and Basil

When it comes to summertime dinners, I want something fast and fresh. This bucatini with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil does the trick. It literally takes less than 15 minutes to get this meal on the table, which means there is less time stuck in the kitchen and more time to enjoy the warm temperatures and longer days of the summer season.

Of course, we've had frost/freeze warnings the past two nights and I've been wearing sweaters during the day of late, but that comes with the territory when you live in Northern Wisconsin.

This pasta dish gets a boost of flavor from garlic that is lightly fried in olive oil; the garlic-infused olive oil serves as the sauce. Once the pasta is cooked, it is tossed with the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and garlic-infused olive oil, and then seasoned with black pepper. And, without much effort, dinner is ready to be served. It doesn't get much easier than that!

Bucatini with Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, and Basil (printer-friendly version)
makes 2 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 ounces dry bucatini pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine), halved
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
freshly cracked black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until light golden, about one minute. Remove the sauce pot from the heat and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the bucatini and cook until al dente (about 9 minutes). Drain the pasta (but do not shake dry) and add to a large bowl. Add in the halved tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves. Toss to combine. Add the garlic oil and toss to evenly coat the ingredients. Season to taste with black pepper and serve immediately.

(lightly adapted from this Dinner was Delicious recipe)