My version of Fusilli Caprese is based on Giada’s recipe. I added more tomatoes, basil, and cheese to my version, and Giada’s recipe recipe doesn’t have the crushed red pepper in it. I think it needs that little bit of heat, otherwise the dish is lacking something. I made the dish without the crushed red pepper, and -s and I both added the crushed red pepper to our servings and liked it much better that way. Our pickiest eater loved this, which was shocking, since he generally will not eat tomatoes, unless it’s ketchup or pasta sauce from a jar.
- 1 lb. fusilli pasta
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
- 1 c. packed fresh basil leaves, torn
- 10-12 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
- In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist (I didn’t need to do this, but it probably depends on how juicy your tomatoes are.
Fusilli alla Caprese: