Fusilli alla Checca (Tomato and Mozzarella)

45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes
  • 1 large ball fresh mozzarella, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Grated Parmigiano

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  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the tomatoes and cook for 90 seconds. Remove them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Peel, seed and cut them into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. In a large bowl, add the mozzarella, ¼ cup olive oil, basil, parsley, salt and pepper, and mix together.
  4. Cook the pasta until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the package directions).
  5. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in ¼ cup olive oil. Add the tomatoes when the onion begins to turn golden and stir. Cook 10 minutes, or until the pasta is done.
  6. Drain the pasta and add to the serving bowl with the mozzarella. Stir in the tomato mixture and serve immediately, with grated Parmigiano.

Ed's Review

Once again, I was in an interminable, unnatural, and indecent bind. I did not enjoy the pain. Soft music played in the background as a soft voice commanded me to focus. Yes, this was yoga class. I thought to myself, “But I am focusing…on pasta. That’s better than thinking about work, right?” My mind raced from pasta to pasta to pasta. “Why shouldn’t these positions be named after pasta instead of animals? How much nicer would it be to move into “farfalle” instead of crow and to settle into “fettuccine” instead of pigeon? Nice idea, I thought, but in the end, they’re all just fusilli to me — and that would make it even more boring.

But as proof that misery often brings clarity, today we eat fusilli! Call it what you will, but its twists, curves, and contortions make it flexible enough to complement almost any sauce: tomato, pesto, cream, cheese, seafood, or meat — it’s all good with fusilli. On a warm summer afternoon, fusilli with barely cooked garden fresh tomato and creamy mozzarella is pure pleasure. All gain; no pain.


Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

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