Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Sorrento is a beautiful town on the Amalfi coast outside of Naples, an area famous for buffalo mozzarella and the sweet, flavorful tomatoes that grow there. As you drive along, you often see roadside stands offering delicious sandwiches made with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil and drizzled with some extra-virgin olive oil. The same ingredients are used to make this classic pasta dish.



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturecheesy, herby, juicy

Type of Dishdry pasta


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound linguine (or spaghetti)
  • 8 ounces fresh buffalo milk mozzarella (if unavailable, use fresh, whole cow's-milk mozzarella)
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves


  1. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.

  2. Peel, halve, and thinly slice the onion crosswise. Put the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet, add the sliced onion, and place over medium heat. Season lightly with salt and sauté until the onion becomes translucent and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. While the onion is sautéing, peel the tomatoes and coarsely chop them. When the onion is ready, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, then shred the basil and add to the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes have reduced and are no longer watery, 6 to 8 minutes more.

  4. Add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add the linguine, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until the pasta is just a bit firmer than al dente (about 30 seconds less than you normally would).

  5. While the pasta and tomatoes are cooking, cut the mozzarella into small ¼-inch dice.

  6. When the pasta is done, drain well and toss with the tomato sauce. Add the diced mozzarella, toss again, and cover the bowl for about 30 seconds to allow the cheese to melt. Uncover and serve at once.

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