Can you guess what I love best about summer? I’ll give you a hint. It’s NOT the heat. I love all the fresh, delicious produce that is available and how easy it is to showcase those flavors. You don’t need a complicated recipe to show off ripe, red tomatoes and sweet garden basil.
The previous two years we’ve grown our own tomatoes, but this year with all the traveling we did at the start of the season we decided to skip the big garden. I did plant a big whiskey barrel full of herbs so I can be sure to have plenty of fresh basil on hand!
I make this Caprese Pasta – Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella repeatedly during peak tomato and basil season. That in itself is an anomaly – the nature of food blogging is that we’re always trying new things. But both Eric and I find Caprese Pasta to be a sort of Summer comfort food for us: a delicious dinner we don’t have to think hard about.
My summer recipes tend to be simple without many complicated steps or ingredients. Summer is a busy time for our family and with two little busybodies at home cooking dinner isn’t something I want to spend a lot of time on.
What could be simpler than Caprese Pasta with just six ingredients? Six ingredients most any home cook will have on hand at any time during the summer months. I bet many of you have favorite, simple recipes just like this that regularly grace your dinner table.
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Show me your best! Do you have a favorite dinner recipe that features 6 or less ingredients? Leave it in the comments below for a chance to win your $600 American Express gift card.
Also, head over to My Baking Addiction for another round of this contest. Jamie is asking for your best 6 ingredient appetizer recipes. Marla at Family Fresh Cooking is asking for your best 6 ingredient dessert recipes.
Caprese Pasta - Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarealla
adapted from Charlene in New Mexico
16 ounces your choice pasta, cooked al dente
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
20 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes,
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
large handful of thinly sliced fresh basil, about 1/2 cup
1 c fresh mozzarella, diced (or here I used little balls of mozzarella)
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain after cooked and set aside.
Meanwhile, saute onions in olive oil until golden and tender, 5-7 minutes, over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes start to pop. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and pasta. Salt and pepper to taste.
Turn heat to low. Add the basil. Cook for 1-2 minutes so the juices can coat the pasta. Remove the pan from the heat off and stir in the mozzarella and . You want to warm the mozzarella, not melt it. Serve immediately.
Giveaway Prize (1 winner):
1 winner will receive a $600 gift card from American Express.
- Submit your favorite or best DINNER recipe that features 6 ingredients or less. You may submit 2 recipes – leave each recipe in a separate comment.
- Seasonings, spices, garlic, vinegar, and oil DO NOT count towards the ingredient count.
- Contest ends July 22, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
- Winner will be posted in a follow up post by July 29, 2011
- Contest open to US addresses only.
- Winners will be chosen via random.org and will have 3 days to respond before disqualified and a new winner chosen.
Optional Extra Entries:
Additional entries can be earned by doing any of the following, giving you a total of 5 extra entries. Leave a separate comment for each of your entries.
1. Follow goodlifeeats and American Express on Twitter and ReTweet the following message: I shared my best 6 ingredient dinner recipe on @goodlifeeats for a chance at a $600 gift card from @AmericanExpress http://su.pr/6WQMeI
2. Become a fan of GoodLife Eats on Facebook.
3. Become a fan of American Express on Facebook.
4. Share the link for the American Express Giveaway on your Facebook wall. Winner will need to verify.