the italian cooking bug has bit again. fusili alla caprese

It's no surprise to any of my friends that I absolutely love me some good Italian food. I made Mel's Fusili alla Caprese (she got it from Giada). And I want to eat it every day of my life. You should too. It's served warm, so it's not necessarily a go-to summer dish (I love me some cold pasta salads), but it's quick,  meat-free, and so darn fresh!!

mel's picture--but mine looked like this and seriously tasted out of this world!

Fusili alla Caprese (thanks Melanie!)
1 pound fusilli pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.

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