Easy Pasta Recipe: Penne With Mozzarella And Tomatoes
- 400 g dried penne rigate
- 400 g tinn chopped plum tomatoes
- 1 small dried red chilli
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste or puree
- Leaves from 2 sprigs of oregano, marjoram, basil or rosemary, chopped or torn
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 50 g capers, or black olives (optional)
- 150 g mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly or torn into shreds
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to serve
- Sprigs of basil, to serve
- #In Italy, pasta tends to be served as a starter -as a course in itself, after the appetizer or antipasto but before the main dish. Make sure the temperatures are right: the cheese must melt and trickle.# Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, or according to the packet instructions.
- Meanwhile, to make the sauce, put the tomatoes in a large, shallow saucepan or frying pan. Add the chilli, garlic, onion, tomato paste, oregano, sugar, and if using, the balsamic vinegar and capers. Cook, stirring, over high heat until the sauce is thick and reduced to about half its original volume. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking water, then return the pasta and reserved water to the saucepan. Add the sliced mozzarella.
- Pour the hot sauce over the top and toss and stir until well mixed and the mozzarella is softened and melting. Sprinkle with the oil and serve topped with sprigs of basil.