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 with grape tomatoes for both the roasted and fresh.  Works great. And another great pasta for this is orecchiette - it holds the sauce so well.

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.  Slice grape tomatoes in half and place on baking sheet 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