Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Caprese ai tagliolini di mozzarella

You might have seen my previous "rotolone di mozzarella" recipe, which is almost like a sushi roll made from a layer of flattened mozzarella and a filling of raw tomatoes and fresh basil. That recipe suggested the idea that mozzarella could be turned into noodles or to be more specific in Italian terminology, "tagliolini". This is essentially a classic Italian caprese salad, served in a different, modern format.

The procedure is pretty much the same as the rolls. You boil some water, remove it from the fire and bathe the chopped mozzarella in it (approx 2cm cubes) for about 20 seconds or until the cubes are melted enough that they can be molded. Remove the mozzarella from the hot water, put it on a stretched cling film and mold it into a thin sheet (approx 2mm thick), as evenly as you can. Cover both sides in cling film, fold it 2 to 3 times and leave it in the fridge to set for an hour or so.
Remove the sheet from the cling film and with a long knife cut into strips as if you were making tagliolini or soba noodles.

Arrange the noodles into small bowls and decorate with oven dried tomatoes or sun blushed tomatoes and top with fresh pesto (as in the picture) or alternatively a few shredded basil leaves and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.

The recipe is fun and easy. I made pesto and tomatoes myself, which is a tedious but rewarding process. It is important that both these ingredients are fresh and of good quality, since that's what really animates this dish.

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