pen rainbow

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday's Cupboard — Penne with Tomatoes, Olives & Two Cheeses

September cherry tomatoes
I never met a pasta casserole I didn't like!  Easy to make, meatless, and it makes great leftovers.  

I made it easier by leaving out the chicken broth and adding the sauce to the pasta immediately.  I also used chopped, Italian-style tomatoes instead of whole canned tomatoes.  Whole canned toms tend to be a little sweeter, but I'm all about fast & easy with this recipe!

Toss in shredded Havarti and olives, throw the whole thing into a lightly-sprayed, 9"x13" glass casserole.  Top with grated parmessan & freshly-ground black pepper; bake for 45 minutes.  That's just enough time to put your feet up and have a nice glass of good Chianti.  Buon appetito!

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Penne with Tomatoes, Olives & Two Cheeses 
8 Servings
Preheat oven to 350°F
Recipe adapted from "Gracious Gator Cooks," a cookbook from the Junior League of Gainesville, Florida.  Tomato-Olive Two-Cheese Pasta, p. 165

The Sauce
•  1-1/2 c. sweet onion, chopped
•  1 T. jarrred, chopped garlic in water
•  3 T. olive oil
•  4 - 14.5 oz. cans Italian-style chopped tomatoes
•  2 tsp. dried basil (1/4 c. fresh, if you have it)
•  1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
•  1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper

The Casserole
•  1 lb. penne or rigatoni pasta  (I use Barilla)
•  3 T. olive oil
•  8 oz. Havarti cheese, shredded (about 2-1/2 c.)
•  1/2 c. whole Kalamata olives, pitted
•  1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, grated (or shredded or shaved)

•  kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper

Start the water for your pasta.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of kosher salt to the water; cover askew & bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan or dutch oven, sauté onion & garlic in olive oil over med-high heat until translucent (5-6 minutes).  Stir in tomatoes, basil, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper.  Bring mixture to bubbling & reduce heat to medium-low.  Season with kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain the pasta & return it to the pasta pot.  Toss with 3 T. of olive oil.  Add the sauce.  Fold in the shredded Havarti and the whole olives.

Lightly spray a 9" x 13" glass casserole, and spoon the pasta mixture into the dish.  Sprinkle Parmesan on top.  Grind black pepper evenly over the cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes on 350 degrees.  Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Nutritional Info (From  387.6 calories, calories from fat 121, fat 13.5 g, sat fat 2.5 g, chol 3.6 mg, sodium 99.6 mg (more depending on how much you add for seasoning), carbs 60.9 g, fiber 10.4 g, sugar 9.3 g, protein 10g