Two Tomato Pasta with Mozzarella, Basil & Pine Nuts

serves 4

Use the best extra virgin olive oil you can and be generous with it.  It will bring the dish up to a whole new level.

Tip: I've also made this recipe all grape tomatoes.  Works great.

10 ounces of grape tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt & pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts
10 ounces spaghetti
14 ounces small tomatoes (about 8 to 10), cut into chunks
4 ounces mozzarella, cubed
about 10 basil leaves, julienned

For the slow roasted tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray so the tomatoes do not stick.  Slice grape tomatoes in half and place on baking sheet, cut side up, with the garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Season with some salt and pepper.  Toss well.  Bake for about two hours or until the tomatoes are reduced down and have lost a lot of their moisture.

Toast the pine nuts:
Place pine nuts in a small skillet.  Cook over medium high heat just for a few minutes, until lightly toasted.

Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta just until al dente.  Remove with tongs and place in a large serving bowl (don't drain- you want a little pasta water still on the pasta so it doesn't stick). Add the slow roasted tomatoes, the pine nuts, the fresh tomatoes, the mozzarella, 4 tablespoons olive oil and the basil leaves.  Season generously with salt and pepper and toss well. 

The Italian Dish