Strictly a summertime dish when fresh tomatoes and basil are at their peak.

4 cups chopped ripe tomatoes

6-8 large fresh basil leaves

1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 Tbl olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 lb butterfly (bow-tie) or fusilli pasta

1/2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

grated Parmesan (optional)

Bring a large covered pot of water to a rapid boil.

Set aside 1 cup of the tomatoes and 2 of the basil leaves.

In blender or food processor, purée remaining tomatoes and basil with garlic and olive oil until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When water comes to a rolling boil, stir in the pasta, re-cover the pot and return to a boil. Uncover and cook until al dente. Cut the reserved basil leaves into thin strips.

Drain the cooked pasta and toss it immediately with the mozzarella cubes. Add the sauce and mix well. Top with the reserved tomatoes and basil and Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.

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