Monday, January 22, 2007

Rigatoni with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

I make this a lot, it is one of my favorite recipes. I found it in the Houston Chronicle food section about two years ago.

Rigatoni with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

coarse salt
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3/4 pound rigatoni or other short tubular pasta
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.
3. In a small skillet, heat oil over low heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, until tender and just beginning to take on color, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in red pepper flakes.
4. Stir garlic mixture into reserved tomato mixture. Add parsley, oregano, mozzarella, and pasta; toss and serve.

*I use the jar garlic, about 2 teaspoons, probably 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (because I love it), and I skip the parsley most of the time because I never have it on hand.