The secret to the intense tomatoey flavour of this simple spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella is the addition of sun-dried tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes from a jar that have been marinated in oil. The rich sweet flavour of sun-dried tomatoes really gives an instant flavour boost to any dish. The oil from the jar can also be used for pasta dishes and salad dressings. Mozzarella pearls are bite-sized balls of mozzarella and are perfect to toss into this pasta dish but a standard ball of mozzarella can be used, just tear it into pieces or chop it into cubes.
- 400g spaghetti
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
- 150ml dry white wine or vegetable stock
- 100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and halved
- 175g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 50g sliced black olives (optional)
- 125g mozzarella pearls, drained
- Small handful fresh basil leaves
Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 mins until just tender.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large pan, add the garlic and cook over a medium heat for 30 secs. Add the sun-dried tomato paste and white wine or stock, bring to the boil and simmer, stirring, for 2 mins.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes and cook for 2 mins until they start to soften. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Drain the spaghetti, add to the tomato pan and toss gently to coat in the sauce. Add the black olives, if using, mozzarella and basil. Lighlty mix together and serve straight away.
Any leftover sun-dried tomatoes from the jar can be used in casseroles, pizzas, sandwiches and salads.