Baked Penne With Corn, Zucchini and Basil
Enriched with two kinds of cheeses, this baked pasta showcases favorite summer vegetables at their seasonal best, including sweet corn, zucchini and fresh tomatoes. July 2009 Williams-Sonoma.
- Ready In:
- 1hr 30mins
- kosher salt, to taste
- 1⁄2 lb penne
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 ears corn, kernels cut off cob
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 zucchini, about 2 lb. total, cut into half-moons
- 1⁄2 yellow onion, diced
- 4 tomatoes, cored, seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup white wine
- 1⁄2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated
- Preheat an oven to 400ºF.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.
- In a 12-inch nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the corn, season with salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
- Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Working in batches, add the zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add to the bowl with the corn. Repeat with the remaining zucchini, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
- Set the pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, 1 teaspoons salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced and the sauce is fairly thick, about 3 minutes more.
- Add the pasta, tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano to the bowl with the vegetables and stir to combine. Transfer to the fry pan and sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.
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this is basically a glorified casserole. I think there's simply too much pasta. It undermines any attempt to create a fresh, summery dish. It doesn't taste bad, but it's really heavy. I wouldn't add salt every single time I saute the zucchini, though by no means cut all the salt. The corn sounds weird but it does enhance the dish. I probably won't make it again but it wasn't bad.Reply
I loved this recipe! Though it appears to be a simple pasta bake, there are a number of steps that make it a little time-consuming, but not difficult, such as first cooking the corn, then the zucchini, etc. But it really was worth the extra time. I will definitely make this again! The flavor was amazing! (I even used whole wheat penne.)Reply
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