I love this pasta recipe because it is so easy to make. The flavors from the parmigiano-reggiano cheese and the herbs combined with the creamy texture and blushing color make such a simple recipe "fancy"... for lack of a better word.
If you’ve never used parmigiano-reggiano cheese before, you’re in for a treat. Parmigiano-Reggiano has a sweet-nutty flavor and crumbly texture that is a favorite of both cheese lovers and connoisseurs. This cheese has significantly more flavor than regular parmesean, so you can use less of it and conserve calories.
I begin by boiling the water for the penne. Then I melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. I toss in about a cup of thinly sliced onions and cook them until golden brown. Then I add basil and thyme and cook for another minute or so.
Next, I pour in a cup of half and half and ½ cup of white cooking wine.
Now here’s the blushing part: 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
Stir it in.
Stir the rest of the half and half with 2 tablespoons of flour until smooth. Add the mixture to the sauce. Also add ½ cup of the parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Cook until thickened.
Now you’re all ready to drain the penne and toss with the sauce. Top it with more of that delicious parmiggiano-reggiano cheese and it’s ready to serve!
Last night I served the Blushing Penne to my family with a plain old lettuce salad graced with celery, dried cherries, and a crisp, slightly tart sliced apple. Oh, and of course, pasta’s good buddy: garlic bread. You've gotta have garlic bread!
1 package (16 oz) penne pasta
1 cup of thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups half and half cream, divided
½ cup of white cooking wine or chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
Cook penne according to package directions. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook onions in butter 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add thyme, basil, and salt, cook 1 minute longer. Add 1 cup of cream, wine, and tomato paste. Cook and stir until blended. Combine flour and remaining cream until smooth; gradually stir into onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in ¼ cup of cheese. Drain penne. Toss with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
1 cup= 336 calories, 10 g fat, 46 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber. WW points: 7