For this easy, fresh summer meal I simply prepared the simple gremolata in advance and whipped up the fresh pasta that evening.
It was such a simple dish for a warm summer night. We loved how the pan roasted tomatoes made a natural chunky sauce and the small cubes of mozzarella melted into the noodles. Did my daughter enjoy her gremolata? You bet. But, after trying her first bite she said “Mom, I think they should just call this basil crunchies.”
- Salt & Pepper as needed
- 1 box dried spaghetti
- 2 cups small cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ pound fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 6 to 7 leaves fresh basil, washed and patted dry
1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking water.
2. In a saute pan drizzle the olive oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the garlic and saute for just under a minute. Then add the tomatoes and a generous pinch of kosher salt and gently saute the tomatoes for about 15 minutes, or until they soften and begin to breakdown. Remove the tomatoes from the heat and toss in the spaghetti and mozzarella. If the pasta needs to loosened up a bit add some cooking water by the tablespoon-full until just loose enough.
3. To make the gremolata: add the toasted breadcrumbs, basil, lemon zest, and a pinch of kosher salt to a food processor and blitz briefly until the basil leaves are finely chopped. Divide the spaghetti into four bowls, sprinkle with gremolata and serve.