Cherry tomato and mozzarella pasta

An easy summer pasta dish from Angela Nilsen which is as quick to prepare and even quicker to cook
By Angela Nilsen
Cherry tomato and mozzarella pasta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

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  • 300 g penne
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 slices proscuitto, sliced in thin strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 500 g carton cherry tomotoes, halved
  • handful basil, leaves, shredded, plus extra whole leaves
  • 150 g spinach leaves, shredded
  • 220 g ball mozzarella, drained, cut in small chunks
  • 25 g pine nuts, toasted

Tips and Suggestions

Instead of the proscuitto you could use back bacon.

To toast the pine nuts, heat a small dry frying pan, tip in the nuts and toast them in the dry pan for a few minutes, tossing the pan often so they brown evenly and don't burn.

Method

1. Cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water, according to packet instructions. Drain it in a colander over the pan so you can reserve a little of the pasta water.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté or frying pan. Tip in the proscuitto and fry briefly over a highish heat for about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until turning crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Stir in the garlic, then lower the heat to medium and put the tomatoes and the shredded basil leaves in the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften, but still hold their shape. Splash in a few spoonfuls of the pasta water if needed to make it saucy.

3. Remove the pan of tomatoes from the heat and stir in the spinach so it wilts in the warmth of the pan. Tip in the drained pasta and the mozzarella and gently toss together, stirring in a spoonful or two more of the reserved pasta water if needed to give a juicy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the pine nuts over and the crispy proscuitto. Serve with a few extra basil leaves scattered over each serving and a drizzle of olive oil.

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