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Pasta alla Checca … sorta …

There’s just a last hurrah of summer left. A few lovely tomatoes, definitely some beautiful basil. I wanted to cook something that really showcased the freshness of 2 of my all time favorite ingredients.

And along came Giada de Laurentiiis and her Checca Sauce from Everyday Italian. Granted, this is a very loose interpretation of her original recipe, but the inspiration is all Giada.

Now, according to her recipe in the book, and as I have written below, the sauce is made in a food processor. And I suppose you could make it in the food processor and it would be fine. But I decided to hand cut everything so that it was slightly chunkier.

  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 4 scallions (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (12-ounce container) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (1-ounce) piece Parmesan, coarsely chopped
  • 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 4 ozs fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

NOTE: I used more than a 1/2 pound of pasta. I also used vine-ripened tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes,4 tomatoes should do it. I removed some of the seeds and pulp so it wouldn’t be too watery..

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, 9 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the next 7 ingredients in a food processor. Pulse just until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped (do not puree).

NOTE: I chopped the tomatoes, basil, garlic and cheeses by hand. I really preferred the more rustic approach to this dish.

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the tomato mixture and fresh mozzarella in a large bowl. Add some of the reserved pasta water (about 1/4 cup) if the sauce looks dry. Serve immediately.

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3 Responses

  1. Pasta alla Checca is our absolute go-to dish in the summer, we all love it. I totally agree, ingredients must be chopped by hand!

  2. Oh, yeah…chunky is definitely better! And I love the pasta shape you used, too…now I’m longing for summer and fresh garden tomatoes!!!

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