Monday, January 10, 2011

Fusilli alla Caprese

This recipe from New Italian Favorites was the second Caprese dish I've made in my history of cooking, but the only one that I've blogged (as of this exact moment).  Caprese dishes are fairly consistant in containing pasta, tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella, and often times served warm instead of hot.

As with a lot of the dishes I make, I sample the raw ingredients (not the meat) before I cook them to be able to note the difference after heat is applied.  The last time I had gotten fresh mozzarella, it was the BelGioioso brand, and I found it to be flavorful, if not a little rubbery.  In hoping to ditch the rubbery texture, I tried a different brand, called Mozzarella Fresca.  While this brand had less of a rubbery texture, it had absolutely no flavor.  I'm not sure how lucky I will get in finding a flavorful cheese as mozzarella is a relatively bland cheese.

One of the things Jeff was bothering me about while looking at the fresh cheese in the produce area was if it was just easier to buy the shredded stuff.  I explained to him that the recipe asked specifically for the fresh stuff, and that the shredded cheese that covers pizzas is different.  I did research on this later on, and found out that the shredded version is a lot drier, which means the end result would be significantly different.

In this recipe, a unique aspect was that the tomatoes were quartered, heated over a saute pan, and mashed to create a sauce.  Then, the basil, mozzarella and pasta were added to create the final dish.

The finished product was delicious; I'm going to attempt to find a better tasting mozzarella, then I'll post the recipe.

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