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This year our garden’s basil plants were quite abundant and we had a plethor of basil that we needed to utilize. We have continued to find new recipes that include basil, and we were actually attempting to make a regular caprese pasta salad, but decided to get a little creative and made this deliciously filling, but somehow still refreshing, pasta dish.

Ingredients:

-Penne pasta

-Mozzarella (1/2 ball-1 ball) & sprinkle

-Balsamic Vinegar or Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar (2 tablespoons)

-Olive Oil

-Basil (1/2 cup to 1 cup)

-Tomatoes (1 package of cherry or roma tomatoes)

-Garlic (4 cloves)

-Oregano

-Parsley

-Pepper

-Thyme

First start by bringing water to a boil and cooking the pasta. As the pasta cooks, mince 4 garlic coves,  chop the mozzarella ball into small pieces, cut up one package of cherry or roma tomatoes, and chop 1/2 cup to 1 cup of fresh basil; then place them into a bowl. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the pasta is done, stir everything together and add olive oil until it coats the pasta. Then sprinkle oregano, parsley, pepper, and thyme to taste. Next, add the balsamic vinegar and place into a pan. We used a strawberry balsamic vinegar that added an extra fresh flavor. Finally sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta caprese. Bake for about 8-10 minutes (or perhaps longer based on your stove), until the cheese has melted in ever so slightly. Then you are left with a delicious, tasty pasta dish that we found both refreshing and hearty!

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