It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
This quick dish brings together the best flavors of a Mediterranean summer. Ripe tomatoes pair with fresh basil and mozzarella to make a flavorful Caprice salad. Add this to pasta and you have a complete meal. The balsamic reduction brings a rich sweetness to the dish making it fancy enough for a dinner party but also simple enough for a casual meal.
1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1 pound ziti or other tube-shaped pasta
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground salt & pepper to taste
- Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat until the vinegar boils. Reduce heat to a temperature that allows the liquid to simmer and continue to cook until the mixture is syrupy and has reduced to approximately 1/4 cup.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the pasta and toss to coat.
- Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine.
- Divide amongst four serving dishes and drizzle the balsamic reduction evenly over the top of each bowl.
- Serve immediately