COSTARICA EXTRA – What a great idea to take the flavours of the margherita pizza (tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil) and apply it to pasta.
What a great idea to take the flavours of the margherita pizza (tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil) and apply it to pasta. Bocconcini comes in balls (usually large, cocktail, pearls) or medallions. Use whatever size and shape you like (cut if needed) — this soft, fresh mozzarella will melt into your pasta and make it ooey gooey.
- 500g of penne pasta
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red chili pepper (can skip if you and your guests don’t like spicy food)
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan + more for serving
- 200-g tub cocktail-sized bocconcini cheese, drained
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
How to make it:
In large pot of boiling (add salt and a little oil to prevent sticking) cook pasta until al dente. Drain; return to pot.
Meanwhile, in large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, thyme, salt and chili pepper. Cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and thickened. Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 cup (125 mL) parmesan.
Add pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes until well-coated. Stir in bocconcini and basil. Serve topped with extra parmesan if desired.
Makes 4-6 servings.
All the ingredients can be found in Costa Rica, in supermarkets like AutoMercado, Mas X Menos and Saretto’s in Escazú. You can subsitute Penne with Rotini, Farfalle by Barilla that can be found inexpensively at Pricesmart.