Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cheesy Penne With Tomato Sauce

Now, this is a new spin on an old favorite of ours. This pasta dish has a chunky tomato sauce which is packed with flavor, not to mention melty, cheesy goodness that is guaranteed to fill you up to the brim while also leaving you wanting more, more, more.

First, you'll have to make the sauce, which takes a little over an hour.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium/large chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 28 ounce cans of whole tomatoes, drained
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth


In a large dutch oven, pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Saute the onions and garlic over medium-high heat until they become see-through, about 5 minutes or so. Pour in the tomatoes and mash them up, easiest with a potato masher. Mix in the dried basil and cayenne pepper. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half until the mixture is chunky and saucy.

Ingredients for the pasta:

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup sliced olives (Kalamata or black)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cook the pasta for the minimum recommended cooking time, or even a minute under so that it is tender but firm to the bite, then drain.

Add the pasta to the sauce and mix it up well.

Have your little helper assist you in slicing your olives with a dull baby knife and grate the cheese.

We use black olives here because they are very mild in flavor, much more kid friendly. But Kalamata olives are delicious in this recipe as well.

Now, pour the cheese and olives in with the sauce and pasta. Mix it up as thoroughly as you can.

Finally, sprinkle with the parmesan and stick it in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes until the pasta is completely heated through. You may wish to transfer the mixture to a large glass baking dish before baking if your pot isn't oven friendly or if you want it to look prettier!

Now enjoy!!


  1. That dish looks absolutely fantastic, and it's inspiring me to give it a try. Great images, too!

  2. This looks so good. Now I'm craving pasta. lol



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