Allysa Torrey's Pasta with Garden Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella is redolent with gently sauteed onion and garlic, which beautifully offset perky chopped tomatoes, basil and cubed mozzarella.
2/3 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
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1 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. pasta
4 cups vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded, chopped
3/4 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup basil, chopped
Toss mozzarella and salt together, and set aside. Fill a medium stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very tender, about 10 minutes.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Add the tomatoes to the cooked onions, and increase the heat to medium-high. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain the pasta, and toss into the tomato-onion mixture to evenly coat. Remove from the heat and stir in the salted mozzarella and 1/4 cup Romano cheese.
Transfer to a large platter and garnish with fresh basil leaves and remaining 1/2 cup Romano cheese. Serve immediately.