I’m not sure about you, but warm summer days really bring me to my place of zen. To me there is nothing more relaxing than burying my toes in the sand or just “lazying” around under the warm summer sun with my family and friends. These moments bring such calm and tranquility to my rather hectic life…
…that is until dinner time, when it’s back to reality. More often than not, these long peaceful days can come to a screeching halt when everyone starts to get hangry. I mean why do they always want to eat?! (#kiddingnotkidding). One way to keep zenful this time of year is with a well prepped/make ahead meal. One of my favorites is this Penne Caprese with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese. The perfect summer meal!
This pasta dish is so simple to make and has like 5 basic ingredients. The best part is, you don’t need to cook the “sauce”! To start the prep for this dish begin in the morning by cutting up the tomatoes and letting them marinate in the refrigerator all day with fresh basil, olive oil, and a good pinch of salt.
I use True Rebel Tomatoes by Village Farms in this recipe. These tomatoes are naturally sweet, full of flavor and come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. The True Rebel mix makes one beautiful caprese pasta dish. Village Farms is one of the nation’s leading greenhouse growers and just happens to be my go to brand for fresh, agriculturally safe tomatoes that are “healthy for people and for the planet”.
Now fast forward 8 hours and a few sunburns later. Are you ready to eat? If you are then remove the tomatoes from the refrigerator and give them a taste. They should have a ton of great flavor from the basil and juices they marinated in all day. Next, add the cut up mozzarella to the bowl, mix well and continue to marinate at room temperature while you begin to prepare the penne pasta.
Lately I have been using the new gluten free Pasta by Anna. It’s a new line of pasta made by my friends over at Cento Fine Foods. I’ve tried a few brands of gluten free pasta and have to say this is one of my favorites. Not only does it have great flavor, it also has a traditional pasta taste and texture. It’s also GMO free which is really important. So if you are on a gluten free diet or trying to cut down on your gluten intake, I definitely recommend this brand.
Ok, once the pasta is cooked (al dente) drain it and add it back to the pot. Then mix in the tomato caprese and stir. I prefer to add the pasta and tomatoes back into the pot because the heat from the pot warms the tomatoes and the mozzarella too. It doesn’t necessarily cook the tomatoes, but I feel like it helps the whole dish come together.
Once it’s all combined and warmed through, I usually add some grated parmesan or romano cheese, some more fresh basil and olive oil if needed. Easy right? I think this is a stressless, simple dish that can be made with ease any day of the week, but especially on those lazy summer days.
Now go start this zenful Gluten Free Penne Caprese with True Rebel Tomatoes and enjoy summer before it’s over. AND don’t forget to leave me a note in the comments below, I love hearing from you!