Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Double Cheese Penne

This will make you drool! I love this dish. I have a made it several times. I got it from my favorite food magazine: Fine Cooking!

Double Cheese Penne
Fine Cooking, March 2003

3 TB Olive Oil
3/4 lb Penne pasta
1 lb sweet Italian sausage
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
2 or 3 pickled Italian hot cherry peppers (from jar), cored, seeded and diced
2/3 Cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
8 oz Shredded mozzarella (about two cups)

In a large covered pot, bring salted water to a boil. Lightly grease an 8x11 baking dish with 1 TB olive oil.

Add the penne to the boiling water and cook until it's al dente. Drain the pasta well and return it to its cooking pot.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 TB olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sausage, let it sit for a minute and then start stirring and breaking it into bite size pieces with the side of a slotted spoon. Cook until lightly browned, another 2 or 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the garlic to the pan, season with salt and cook, stirring constantly, until it colors slightly, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook at a rapid simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with the spoon, for 5 minutes so the sauce thickens slightly.

Meanwhile, position an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler, turn on high. Stir the sausage and it's juices, the diced peppers and 1/3 cup of the Parigiano into the sauce. Cook, stirring, until the sausage is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta in the pot and stir well. Spread the pasta and sauce evenly in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and the remaining Parmigiano. Put the baking dish on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese melts and browns in places, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately with more Parm, if you like.

Skip the sausage if you like, making it a veg friendly dish!

I like using Roasted Red Bell Peppers instead of the pickled Hot Red Peppers, but if you want, omit it all together.

Don't leave your stove/kitchen when you have the dish under the broiler, it can go from great to burnt in a minute. Becareful.


ScottE. said...

In terms of the tomatoes, try to use the can, whole/peeled tomatoes. These guys are picked at their prime and canned...if you don't have them at home and have diced or sauce, go ahead and use them. But if you can, the whole/peeled are handled and processed less preserving more of their tasty flavor.

When I use the whole peeled tomatoes, I open the cans and dump them right into a large bowl. With my hands, with an apron on, I get right in there and start squeezing them, one at a time, cover one hand with the other to prevent extra splatter...just squeeze them to break them apart into smaller bit size pieces.


DC Food Blog said...

I LOOOOVE Fine Cooking. It's not so nerdy as Cook's Illustrated but not so pretentious as Bon Appetit

Dancer in DC said...

This is in many ways like having a big dish of baked ziti. Warm, filling, comforting.

I would venture to say that like lasagna you could probably assemble this ahead of time and refigerate or freeze it for cooking later.