Green Sunday dinner – caprese fussili pasta

Let’s do green Sunday again!!!! It’s really refreshing and it’s a good idea to keep doing vegetarian dishes on Sunday, just to clean up the system. So tonight I am thinking to do a vegetarian pasta, I tried to search for ideas online, and I found this caprese salad with pasta. Yes! Why not? I love caprese salad, so why not trying make the pasta version out of it?!

This dish is basically very simple, as simple as the caprese salad, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. You just have to choose the kind of pasta that you like to go with the salad, I suggested to go with something short, like what I did with fussili or even penne. Try not to use something long, like spaghetti or linguine. If you like, you can also use broken spaghetti, but short pasta for sure make more sense for this dish.

First of all, get the fussili pasta ready by boiling them in a pot of hot water, by adding some salt in the water as well. On the other hand, get some olive oil in a hot pan, add some minced garlic, then simply fry the halved cherry tomatoes, and hand shredded mozzarella for about 30 seconds to a minute, season them with a pinch of salt. Basically, you can just eat them raw, so no need to cook them for too long. Add the basil at last, then put all the fussili into the sauce, and mix them well. You can decided to serve it hot right after you cook, or you can have them as salad by chilling them in the fridge. I like to eat it hot right after cooking, season them with some black pepper and garnish with a touch of fresh basil on top. Wala……. so simple and so quick!

Baked Pasta with Vegetable Sauce

Usually for pasta, I only do the simple cooking one, and I’ve never made the baked pasta before. Tonight I want to try it out, as saw this recipe the other day on the TV cooking show, would love to do it. Originally, I was planning to cook Thai food tonight, but I just find out my husband has to work and will be back a little late. Just think maybe to cook something else that he can eat later but still good, I guess baked pasta is a good option.

The ingredients of this pasta is pretty simple, rigatoni pasta, aubergine / eggplant, olives, sun-dried tomatoes; cheese is important for baked pasta, I used mozzarella, the fresh one and dry one, and parmesan cheese. You can choose the kind of cheese that you like, but for the top layer, better use parmesan cheese.

Use a big pot to boil the water, preparing to cook the rigatoni. On the other side, working on the sauce. Heat up the pan with some olive oil, put the chopped aubergine / eggplant into it and stir fry them. After 2 to 3 minutes, add the chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes and stir fry them all together. Then add the chopped garlic and red chili, and the tomato puree into the pan, add a bit of salt and cook the sauce for about 10 minutes. When the rigatoni is done cooking in the hot water, add them in the sauce with some parmesan cheese. Basically, you can eat the pasta just like that.

Pre-heat the oven with 200C. Put the pasta into a bake tray with one layer, then add the dry and fresh mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Then, repeat the same with another layer, make sure you cover the entire surface with cheese. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the pasta turn golden brown. Watch out that you don’t burn the pasta, otherwise it will become hard instead of crispy.

One suggestion is, no need to bake all the pasta in one go, you can just bake the portion that you are going to eat, and leave the rest of the pasta there. You just do the baking part when you want to eat the pasta and that will taste the best. So, when my husband came home, I just bake another pasta for him which takes only 10-15 minutes. And it tastes warm and freshly made.

Caprese with Cold Cuts

Sometimes you just don’t feel to do much during Sunday, want to have a super easy evening, especially when I am still recovering from the flu. So, tonight I am fancy for an Italian cold cuts dinner, maybe can do also a caprese salad.

There is a small Italian food store close to when I live, they have a great variety of cold cuts and cheese, and all kinds of Italian grocery. So, I bought ciabatta bread for myself and the rye bread for my husband. I also got salami, prosciutto, mortadella, fontina cheese, and I’ve also got some tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to do a simple caprese salad. On top of that, I bought 2 pieces of cheese cakes, but we were too full after dinner, so I guess we have to leave the cheese cake for tomorrow night.

To do your caprese, just simply cut the tomato in slides, same thing for the mozzarella, and place them alternatively with a piece of basil as well. Make sure you eat a slide of tomato, mozzarella and basil together, that’s the way to eat. Season them with salt and pepper, as well as some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Such a refreshing salad.