Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 45 mins
Simple dish with a classic fresh tomato sauce. You may use low-fat mozzarella and skip parmesan cheese if you are pursuing a low-fat diet, and serve with green salad and crusty bread. The sauce can be made well ahead and can be re-heated.
- 350 g penne pasta
- 150 g mozzarella cheese, chopped into 2cm cubes
- basil leaves, to garnish
- grated parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
For the tomato sauce
- 1 1⁄4 kg fresh ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 12 large fresh basil leaves
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- First skin the tomatoes - put the tomatoes in a bowl and pour boiling water over them and leave for 1 minute, then drain and slip off their skins.
- Reserve 3 tomatoes for later and roughly chop the rest.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then add the onion and garlic and let them gently cook for 5-6 minutes, until they are softened and light golden in colour.
- Add the chopped tomatoes with about a third of the basil, torn into pieces and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper.
- Let the tomatoes simmer on a very low heat, without a lid, for about 1-1½ hours or until the tomatoes are reduced to a thick sauce, stirring now and again.
- Roughly chop the reserved tomatoes and stir them in, along with the rest of the torn basil leaves and take it off heat.
- Cook the pasta as per the package instructions.
- When you are ready to eat, gently re-heat the tomato sauce and stir the cubes of mozzarella into the warm sauce and let it simmer gently for 2-3 minutes only to slightly soften the cheese (just begun to melt).
- Serve the sauce spooned over the drained pasta, sprinkled with the parmesan (if using) and add a few basil leaves as garnish.
The fresh tomato flavour in this sauce is lovely and the sauteed onions add a nice sweetness. We love this! My fresh basil had gone off so I had to use dried basil in the sauce and parsley for garnish but next time I'll make sure I have fresh. This will be wonderful in the summer with garden tomatoes. For us this was closer to 4 servings. Thanks for an excellent pasta recipe!
didn't skin the tomatoes - i gave it more like a 3/4 but my hubbie realllly liked it and hes so picky the only problem i had was that the sauce sort of disappeared once I put it in the fridge - i might just have to do everything at once
Lazy me, I didn't skin the tomatoes, but aside from that followed the recipe as is. Lovely flavor, just needed a bit of oregano to make it perfect for us.