Tomato Basil Penne Pasta Recipe -
Tomato Basil Penne Pasta Recipe
  • READY IN 45 mins

Tomato Basil Penne Pasta

Recipe by  

"A Mediterranean-style family staple."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    25 mins

    45 mins


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Cook pasta in boiling water until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat basil and olive oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic in oil until soft. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in pepperjack, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. When cheese begins to melt, mix in cooked penne pasta. Season with fresh basil.
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  • Cook's note:
  • Use 2 tablespoons olive oil if basil oil is unavailable.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 23, 2009

So delicious and very versatile! I made this last night for dinner modifying it to fit what I had on hand. I had tons of fresh basil, a half a pint of grape tomatoes, and 5 pounds of mozzarella on hand left over from a charity event we made baked ziti for. Since I only had half the amount of tomatoes called for, I added an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce I found in the pantry, and loaded the sauce up with fresh basil instead of just adding it at the end. I used two cups of mozzarella in place of the pepper jack and served this over ravioli instead of penne. Usually I stick to a recipe the first time I make it but I wanted a quick dinner using ingredients I already had, so I changed this a little bit and it came out great. Definitely try this recipe, and don't be afraid of doing a little experimentation. I will be certainly be making this again. Next time I'm going to try the recipe exactly as written, but I'm sure it's great either way!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 18, 2011

I loved the ingredients when I saw this recipe, but I didn't end up loving the recipe itself so much. Melting the cheese as directed makes the cheese clumpy when trying to mix the penne in. I had to break up chunks of cheese that melted to try to distribute it throughout the dish. Next time, I would advise to put the cheese into the hot penne instead of putting the penne into a pan of melted cheese. After tasting, it was lacking some flavor, so we decided to add some homemade pesto to the recipe.

Aug 07, 2009

I was a little hesitant to try this but it was absolutely delicious and I gave it 5 stars. The only modification I made was that I used 3 tbl. regular olive oil and 1 tbl. dried basil. Very creamy and with just a slight kick due to the pepperjack cheese. It's like a new versions of mac and cheese. You won't be diappointed if you give this recipe a shot.

Jul 23, 2009

This is a great pasta dish! I added yellow squash and zucchini (because I do to everything this time of year!), and used plum tomatoes because I didn't have grape. I can't believe I'm going to say it, but the amount of cheese was too much for me, made doing the dishes a bear too trying to get all the cheese off the plates and pans. Next time I make this, which I definitely will, I will use less cheese and more basil. Thanks for the recipe!

Jul 30, 2009

I really enjoyed this recipe! I made the following changes: Smart Taste Rotini instead of Penne, followed the directions on the box for cooking time. I used much less cheese than the recipe called for - about 1/2 a cup of mozz, a small amount of parm and added feta instead of the jack. It came out great. Next time I will add spinach for sure. I served it with the Parmesan Chicken recipe by Mollie Hall on this site (see my review there for my adjustments). FANTASTIC dinner - everyone in the family had seconds!

May 02, 2011

This tasted like a dish from Macaroni Grill. Loved it! I added spinach, added about 2-3 times as much basil, cut back on the parm and increased the jack for an extra kick. Next time I'll add shrimp.

Jul 30, 2011

This recipe did NOT turn out the way I thought it would. It was bland and the cheese was very lumpy making it hard to serve. My suggestion is to add some garlic salt and put in the cheese right after you put in the penne pasta.

Nov 29, 2010

WAY TOO MUCH CHEESE!!! Seriously. I used the amt called for and it was overwhelming. I'd halve it. I also used only mozz and parm and it was delicious. The flavor is good though my boyfriend complained it was too tart with the tomatoes. He said maybe we could try broccoli next time... we'll see. Also, I added some chicken broth to simmer the tomatoes... because how do you simmer anything in 2T oil? I think the chicken broth is a good addition. I added maybe 1/3 of a small can.


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  • Calories
  • 502 kcal
  • 25%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 47.1 g
  • 15%
  • Cholesterol
  • 58 mg
  • 19%
  • Fat
  • 24.8 g
  • 38%
  • Fiber
  • 2.8 g
  • 11%
  • Protein
  • 24.1 g
  • 48%
  • Sodium
  • 462 mg
  • 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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