Fresh Tomato & Basil Penne

  • 1 lb. dried penne pasta - or other short pasta
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¼ c. sun dried tomato paste or chunky tomato sauce
  • ½ c. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped plus more for garnishing
  • 1 lb. fresh tomatoes - chopped if large, but if you have grape or cherry tomatoes, leave some whole

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente according to the package directions.

While the pasta cooks, warm the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until the garlic is golden. Add the tomato paste or sauce and use the back of a wooden spoon to “mash” it into the garlic. Sauté for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until the tomato paste or sauce starts to darken in color.

Add the tomatoes and fresh basil to the sauté pan; sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and released their juices. Turn the heat to medium-low.

Drain, but do not rinse, the cooked pasta. Add the cooked penne to the pan with the tomatoes and use tongs or a spoon to mix well, until the sauce and oil coats every noodle. Add additional salt to taste, if necessary.

Serve warm, topped with fresh basil.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes