Friday’s Hot Tip: What’s Cookin’? Pasta!

Years ago I found this recipe in InStyle Magazine – I think it was Janet Jackson’s favorite dish at a restaurant, but I don’t have any information on which restaurant. Nevertheless, Ms. Jackson has excellent taste because this pasta is addictive. It’s really delicious served hot but I also like it cold or room temperature. It takes time and attention to make the olive-oil-based sauce, so plan on setting aside about 45 minutes to babysit the saucepan.

Last week I served this pasta along with London broil and a spinach salad made with pomegranate seeds, candied pecans and Parmesan cheese tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. It was a big hit and paired beautifully with the beef.

Since this recipe makes a lot of pasta, I recommend making it for a party. You’ll glow with pride as your guests rhapsodize about your mad skills with penne.

Penne al Pomodoro e Peperoncino

  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 lbs penne pasta
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

In medium saucepan heat oil. Add onion, celery carrot, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 15-17 minutes. Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes; reduce heat to medium low, cook for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in large pot bring 6 quarts salted water to boil. Add pasta, stir. Return water to boil. Boil pasta 11-13 minutes, until al dente. Drain well. Return pasta to pot. Add basil leaves to sauce. Spoon sauce into bowl of food processor; process in batches until texture is smooth. [Moxie adds: I use my blender because my food processor is too small and I would rather get the whole thing done in one fell swoop. If you’ve got a big honkin’ food processor, though, by all means use it.]. Pour sauce over pasta; toss well. To serve, place pasta on warmed serving platter. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6.

One Reply to “Friday’s Hot Tip: What’s Cookin’? Pasta!”

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of olive oil! It’s a little similar though to a sauce that I make occasionally, so I can vouch for its deliciousness.

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