By Riki Senn

Riki Senn creates, writes and edits curriculum for the Viking Cooking School locations throughout the United States.

Farfalle with Fresh Mozzarella, Basil, and Vine-Ripe Tomatoes

When gorgeous, ripe summer tomatoes are at their peak and fresh basil is abundant, combine them with fresh mozzarella, homemade pasta and a good, fruity olive oil. Add a grating of Parmesan, season to taste and enjoy the flavors of the season.

  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cups ripe, red tomatoes cored and diced(about 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound fresh pasta dough, cut into farfalle*
  • 2 tablespoons basil oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan, freshly grated
Combine mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large mixing bowl; season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature to allow the flavors to develop.

Using an 8-quart stockpot with a pasta insert, bring 4 to 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add kosher salt and bring back to a boil. Add farfalle and immediately stir to separate the individual pieces. The water should return to a boil very quickly. If necessary, cover pot until the water returns to a boil. Cook just until al dente, stirring the pasta once or twice during cooking.

Drain thoroughly, then immediately toss with the mozzarella tomato mixture; drizzle with basil oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed; sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

*Cutting pasta into farfalle: Cut pasta sheets into 1-inch wide strips using a plain pastry cutter or a chef’s knife. Cut the 1-inch wide strips into 2-inch lengths using a fluted pastry cutter.  Pinch each rectangle in the center to form the farfalle. Allow the farfalle to dry for 10 minutes before cooking. Short on time? Purchase high quality dried pasta – the recipe will still be dazzling.

Yield: 4 serving