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I absolutely love pasta caprese. I have a great recipe for it that provides perfectly creamy mozarella and tasty tomatoes and uses up the leaves on my basil plant. It's a great dish.

I also don't consider a meal without some form of protein that isn't cheese to be a meal, and vegetarian meals aren't considered kindly by those I cook for, so I really need at least some meat with every meal.

So my quandry is how to serve my pasta caprese as part of a meal with meat. In the past I've done grilled chicken breast on the side, but is there a way to make it a one pot meal or serve with another meat main so I'm not limited to chicken? Ideally I'd like to feature the flavors of the pasta as the main.

I tried hot Italian sausage last night. It was OK, but I felt that the sausage competed too much with the flavors of the dressing.

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1  
How about shrimp? –  ceejayoz Aug 17 '10 at 19:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The problem you will find in using meat-based proteins for such a dish is that the whole point of Insalata Caprese (from which I presume this pasta is derived) is the light, fresh, bright flavours of tomatoes and basil and mozz. Meats will muddy that up.

You may wish to look into alternate protein sources. Serve the pasta with some nice crusty bread and a big bowl of garlicky pureed white beans.

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@roux - I like the bean and bread side idea. Very nice. –  justkt Aug 18 '10 at 12:19

I do not agree to alter the freshness of a delicious Caprese pasta with meat.
Anyway, you could try to add something light, some diced cooked ham for example.

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@systemputoout - do you have good suggestions for a side, then? –  justkt Aug 18 '10 at 12:19
    
@justkt nope, pasta is usually eaten without side. –  systempuntoout Aug 18 '10 at 20:16
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agreed, system, but north americans don't tend to follow the italian meal progression, so i figured a side would make more sense than two (or more) courses. –  daniel Aug 19 '10 at 8:48
    
@roux uhm, you could try a white meat like poultry. Sliced stripes of chicken breasts cooked with a dice of butter and sage. –  systempuntoout Aug 19 '10 at 15:18

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