Thursday, September 15, 2011

I love you, I love you not.

Oh carbs.. we have such a love hate relationship.  The most popular question people ask me when they find out I'm a food blogger is "what's your favorite kind of food to eat and make?"  It would be Italian, hands down; you can do so much with so little.  I have to create balance in my diet though.  Yes, I'd love to eat a huge pasta dinner with garlic bread every night, but as my parents say there's a difference between want and need.  I try and change things up, and look for some healthier pasta recipes, because there are a lot out there.  This recipe is somewhere in the middle, and those are worth a shot too!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.  While the pasta is cooking heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large sauce pan.  I used my homemade tomato sauce, recipe found by clicking here.  You can use store bought or whatever you have in the house and it will work just as well.
Once warm, stir in half and half.  This is optional, if you'd like to use skim milk that would create the more creamy sauce as well.
Add in the freshly grated Parmesan. 
Once the pasta is done cooking, drain and dump into the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off the heat.  Fold in the freshly chopped basil leaves.
Fold in mozzarella cubes. I used organic low fat mozzarella from Whole Foods and it worked perfectly.
Cut around a pint of grape tomatoes in half.  Also from Whole Foods, these tomatoes were locally grown and delicious.
Once combined into the pasta, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the whole pasta mixture into the dish.  Top with additional fresh mozzarella if you'd like.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
You can also top with additional basil or Parmesan if you like.  I didn't add a thing, and it was tasty as is.  Creamy without being too thick because of the mix of tomatoes and cream.  Carbs, until we meet again...

Creamy Caprese Pasta
Serves 4-6

1 pound whole wheat pasta noodles
1 cup of tomato sauce
1/3 cup half and half or milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the tomato sauce in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
Once warm, add the half and half and Parmesan cheese.
When pasta has finished cooking, drain and dump into the tomato sauce.
Fold in the basil leaves, mozzarella, and tomatoes.
Once combined, spray a baking dish with nonstick spray and pour the mixture into the dish.
Bake for 25 minutes until cheese has melted.

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