Awhile ago Mary and I both stumbled upon a recipe by How Sweet It Is for “Creamy Caprese Pasta”. I bookmarked the recipe but never got around to making it. I didnt make any new recipes during my last days of college; my diet pretty much consisted of a lot of take out, boring meals created from the food I had left in my apartment, food from events such as the senior gala/senior BBQ/orioles game/dinners with family….etc. Not too healthy and it all definitely threw me out of whack. Not to mention the lbs that I may or may not have packed on. haha oh well…the last days of college were so much fun…if only I could go back in time
I am finally settled back in at home and am starting to return to my normal lifestyle. I am trying to focus on eating healthier (more wholesome foods and more homemade foods), working out (decided to do more cross training as opposed to running…I am not eliminating it completely but I just need a break from running…more on that later), saving money because I am BROKE (but that has absolutely NOTHING to do with what I am talking about…got side-tracked) and most importantly….getting back to cooking and baking in the kitchen!
Last night I decided to FINALLY make the “creamy caprese pasta” dish that I had bookmarked what seems like a long long time ago. EVERYONE LOVED THIS MEAL. It was so flavorful and we all loved the “blush” sauce in this dish. I made an edition of adding half regular and half SMOKED mozzarella (Mary’s suggestion….awesome.) and used a bit more sauce than the recipe called for. Next time I think I will try adding spinach or chicken in there, too! Regardless…this dish was a hit. PLEASE MAKE IT, NOW!
**Note** use your judgement on the amount of ingredients…if you feel you need more pasta sauce or heavy cream, mozzarella, etc….just add it! I did not follow this recipe exactly (I added more pasta sauce, cream, and cheese!)…do everything to YOUR liking!
- 1 pound whole wheat penne
- 1 cup of homemade pasta sauce (I used a bit more…close to 2)
- ~ 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes (I used half regular mozzarella and half smoked mozzarella…great touch!)
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes (I cut some in half and left some whole)
- 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.
- While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. Once warm, stir in heavy cream and grated parmesan.
- Once pasta is done cooking, drain and dump into the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off heat. Fold in mozzarella cubes and tomatoes, then chop 3-4 fresh basil leaves and add them in too.
- Once combined, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire pasta mixture into the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Top with additional fresh basil and grated cheese. Serve with garlic bread or a regular baguette. You can also add in chicken, steak or seafood for some protein.
That photo is of Danielle, Mary, and I at dinner on the night of graduation. I have so many graduation photos and I couldn’t fit them all on the last post so I decided to put one of my two wonderful sisters on this post!
I don’t know about you but I cant go a day without something sweet. Chocolate, ice cream, cookie, whatever… call me a piggie but I can’t imagine life without dessert. It would be an AWFUL LIFE…absolutely AWFUL! I wish I were kidding. But alas, I am not. Anyway…we wanted something on the lighter side to end the night with so we decided to “whip” up some homemade whipped cream and serve it with fruit (strawberries, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries). If you have never made your own whipped cream…you need to! It is way better than the canned stuff….and SO simple to make.
Homemade Whipped Cream
- small container of Heavy Cream or whipping cream
- several tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar (use judgement…taste and add)
- vanilla extract (or paste)
- Put the cream in a bowl and mix (using a hand mixer) on medium
- Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and whip until done….but be careful not to over-whip because if you keep whipping it eventually turns into butter (YES…BUTTER!)
P.S. Natascia (from Journey of a Passionate Runner) mentioned us (Sisters Running the Kitchen) as one of her favorite running blogs! We met Natascia at the Boston Marathon (to be more precise, we met her right after we took that photo that she posted up on her site! haha). Mary and I were so surprised/excited that someone recognized us from the “blog world” in Boston. Natascia is so nice and her blog is awesome…definitely check it out after you are done reading this!!! Thank you so much for the shout-out, Natascia!
Question: What are some of your favorite blogs to follow?