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  • Penne Pasta With Tomatoes Basil And Two Cheeses
  • Penne Pasta With Tomatoes Basil And Two Cheeses

Penne Pasta With Tomatoes Basil And Two Cheeses

Food | September 18, 2016 | Nik Manojlovich
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

This recipe for Penne Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Two Cheeses will be a welcome addition in your favourite recipe folder and proves that simple can also be delicious.

This recipe is always a hit with kids, probably because it brings together a few of their favourites – pasta, tomatoes and cheese. It also includes three ingredients they may not be familiar with – garlic, chili flakes and basil. For some kids, the inclusion of these may be a little too much to handle, so feel free to omit them. Fear not, it will still taste wonderful.

Things to remember:

1) TOMATOES – The tomatoes used in this recipe are added raw. Because of this, it’s important to look for locally grown, fully ripened ones. They’ll almost dissolve into the warmed pasta and sauce.

2) PASTA – I like using one-bite pasta for this recipe, like penne rigate, fusilli, bowtie, and even medium-sized shells. Of course you can use spaghetti or linguine, but I prefer long noodle-pastas for recipes drenched in rich sauces.

3) PASTA WATER – While on my trip to Italy, I had the very great pleasure of watching a team of local women prepare dinner for our group. The eldest, whom we were instructed to simply call Nona (grandmother) made one thing very clear – salt your pasta water so that it is like the sea. Here’s a good rule of thumb – add 1 teaspoon of salt for every litre of water.

This pasta recipe has the most basic ingredients, and the preparation process is completely straightforward. I wish I could share suggestions on what to do with leftovers, but I’ve yet to have any – it disappears soon after it’s made!

A simple dish that’s perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner – Penne Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Two Cheeses brings together familiar flavours to a bowl near you in under 20 minutes, guaranteed! Buon Appetito!


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Ingredients & Amounts

  • 1 pound of penne rigate
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • ½ ball of bufala mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup of parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • 1 cup of reserved pasta cooking water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add penne and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water. Drain.
  2. Prepare cherry tomatoes, basil, bufala mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano while pasta is cooking. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking. Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat, adding oil and butter. When hot, add garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add chili flakes and sauté for 1 minute more. Add cooked pasta and reserved pasta water and cook until the liquid reduces by half.
  4. Transfer pasta and sauce to a medium-sized service bowl, add tomatoes, basil and mozzarella and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano and serve immediately with additional grated parmigiano on the side.
Listen on MUSIC

Listening to great music is an essential part of every Weekend at the Cottage. When you go to make this pasta recipe, why not listen to the incredible CLAUDIO VILLA singing Stornelli, they are just so perfetto! Head to iTunes to download these quintessential Italian ballads to your collection.

Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.



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