Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Cheese

This is one of my all time favorite pasta dishes. I can remember making it numerous times with my mom when I was growing up. I had forgotten about it until I was flipping through Full Moon, High Tide over the weekend. You can customize this recipe to your liking. My dad hates olives, so we would only put them on half. I subbed mozzarella for the Havarti and upped the amount of red pepper. The best part about this dish is that the top layer of noodles and cheese gets crunchy in the oven. The end result is divine. 

Penne Pasta with Tomatoes and Cheese 
from Full Moon, High Tide 
Yields: 6 servings

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 (28-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne pasta
2 1/2 cups shredded Havarti
1/3 cup sliced black olives 
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, dried basil, and red pepper flakes. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer about one hour until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook pasta al dente in large pot of salted boiling water. Drain. 
  • Toss pasta with remaining three tablespoons olive oil in large bowl. Add sauce, tossing well to blend. Add Harvarti.
  • Transfer to a 13x9x2 inch prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with olives and parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with fresh basil. 

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