This is one of those recipes that is simple, but takes perfect timing. It's easy, but you better read the instructions through a few times! It is also one of those recipes that my brother and sister (Sorry Zack, you're sharing the crown these days!) can eat obscene amounts of. And if you want leftovers, you better either hide them, or wake up at 3 AM and eat them for breakfast. Before they do. Because they will.
My Mom concocted this recipe. Kind of. I think, once upon a time, it may have resembled a Cooks Illustrated recipe. Since then, it has existed in a state of uncertainty. To be honest, my Mom still has no idea how she makes it, really. There is a lot of "winging it". And throwing things in blenders. And puzzlement over color changes. I wish you could see the document she sent me with this recipe, it's hilariously confusing. At one point she was telling me to add the lemon juice and sugar during three different steps of the recipe, one of which also involved marinating tomatoes. ?! We are very different cooks. She is a "spur of the moment" cook. The problem is, after that moment is over, she has no earthly idea what she did. Anytime I change something, I write it down. Okay, most of the time. She says she's glad I'm sorting it all out, I just hope she doesn't mind what I come up with!
Pasta Caprese (this recipe will be warm, not hot)
loose 6 cups of fresh basil (tight-packed 3 cups)
2-3 garlic cloves
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp salt (at least)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb rotelle pasta (you can also use penne, or anything similar)
1 can petite diced tomatoes (or 1 cup seeded and diced fresh tomatoes)
1 lb fresh mozzarella, cubed (you can substitute Sorrento mozzarella, it's very good!)
First: Start water (plus 1 tsp salt) heating for pasta. While you are waiting for it to boil, cube the mozzarella and put it in the freezer.
Note: This recipe makes about a cup of pesto. We made a half batch, and it was plenty for the 4 of us for one meal. You can make this in advance and freeze the pesto! So: 3 cups packed basil=1 cup pesto=1 lb pasta. I'm going to freeze it in 1/2 cup quantities. It is yummy for leftovers, but not nearly as pretty! Also, if you are like my hubby, and don't care about the cheese getting all gooey, you can mix it together over heat so it can be served hot instead of warm. Or skip the cheese-freezing step. (Cold cheese cools the pasta)