Pasta alla Checca

serves 6 as a main course

1 pound of Gemelli pasta or pasta of your choice

1 (10.5-12 ounce) container of cherry tomatoes

3 scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 (1-ounce) piece of good Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, coarsely chopped

8 fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic, Parmesan, basil, oil and salt and pulse until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped or puree for a finer sauce.  Stir in the mozzarella cheese and black pepper.  Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and set aside.  

Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's directions.  Drain the pasta and toss into the bowl with the Checca sauce.   Serve warm or cold with crushed red pepper flakes to taste.  Enjoy!

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