This tomato basil penne pasta is inspired by a dish created for us from Italian friends. Lots of Italian seasoning and tomato goodness.
Craig and I just spent 2 weeks exploring Portugal, Spain, and Italy. While we were in Italy, we spent a few days with Marta’s family in Bergamo, Italy – (Marta lived with us for a year abroad during 2012/2013.) Bergamo is near Milan and Verona – you know Verona of the Romeo and Juliet fame. Marta’s parents, Bruno and Marina, were the ultimate host; sharing their home, food, and time. One of our treasured events was the multiple visits to favorite gelato eateries – I hope you have the opportunity to taste true Italian gelato – it is the smoothest ice cream around and not just smooth but the flavors are so inventive. I had a risotto with fig that was just amazing but my favorite is still amaretto – hmmmmm!!!!
Along with visiting gelato eateries, we saw numerous beautiful cathedrals and museums, wrote our name in hearts on Juliet’s wall, and hiked Canto Alto. But the best part was the Italian meals that were served to us cooked both by Bruno and Marina. We were served spinach tart, creamy vegetable soup, bean soup, lasagna, rabbit, salami and cheeses, crusty breads, and pastas – such delicious and fresh pasta!
I asked Bruno his secret to pasta and it was cooking the pasta in the sauce. He would cook his pasta to about 75% done in the boiling water, drain the pasta, pour the pasta into the sauce, and then finish cooking it simmering in the sauce. A simple but fresh way to cook your pasta.
This tomato basil penne pasta dish was inspired by the first pasta dish served to Craig and I in the Soler home. I can’t attest to using the same spices but maybe almost.
Tomato Basil Penne Pasta
- 8.5 oz penne pasta
- 16 oz. diced Italian tomatoes
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp Italian seasonings
- 1 to 2 tsp fresh oregano (diced)
- 10 leaves fresh basil (diced)
- 2 to 3 TBS olive oil
- 2 to 3 TBS Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (freshly grated)
- Bring to boil in a medium pot 1 quart of water
- In a large saucepan, pour your olive oil, and heat over medium to low heat
- Add your diced onions and minced garlic to the oil
- Saute your onions and garlic until translucent
- Pour in your diced tomatoes and tomato sauce into the saucepan with the onions and garlic, bring to a simmer
- Add salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, and oregano to the sauce and let simmer over low heat
- Once your water is boiling add your pasta and reduce heat
- Cook your pasta to 75% done (75% of whatever time is recommended on the packaging)
- Drain your pasta and rinse
- Pour your drained pasta into your simmer tomato sauce and finish cooking the pasta to al dente.
- Sprinkle your fresh basil leaves into your pasta/tomato sauce and gently stir in.
- Serve warm with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese sprinkled over the top.
Enjoy this delicious pasta with the fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan!
Us with our hosts: