Piquant parsley-based salsa verde with its capers, anchovies, and vinegar is a perfect foil for chunks of mild mozzarella.
Slideshow: Perfect Pasta Recipes
3/4 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley with thick stems removed
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
6 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 pound penne rigate
3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
How to Make It
In a blender or food processor, puree the parsley, the smashed garlic, the capers, and the anchovy paste with the olive oil, the wine vinegar, and the salt and pepper.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne rigate until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain.
In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the parsley mixture, mozzarella, and tomatoes.
Fresh Mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella is a soft, white cheese formed into a ball, which is usually packaged with water in plastic tubs to keep it moist. The cheese has a mild, milky taste that combines well with other, stronger flavors, and melts to a nice oozy texture. It's becoming more and more available in grocery stores; we have seen the Poly-O brand in many locations. Drain the cheese before using. Test-Kitchen Tip: Cut the mozzarella into cubes first thing and let it sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the recipe. That way the mozzarella will melt more quickly.
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