When Nonna and Grandpa arrived from Italy, they settled in a small border town across from Detroit. A place that has not only significant musical roots for me, but has had a profound influence on my cooking over the years. Many memories of family gatherings, on either side of the border involving food, wine and music are waiting to be written and I'm looking forward to sharing them.
This is the first of those memories and a special shout out to my uncle Joe Zucchetto, Head chef and a legend in Detroit! When uncle Joe came to visit or when we hit the tunnel/bridge to the Detroit suburbs, we knew we were in for an amazing feast! Pasta was alwaysa staple at family gatherings and served between the main and appetizers.
When the 16 Litre pot of pasta came off the stove, the sauce was carefully mixed in and divided into large bowls that were dispersed across the table. Each bowl accompanied by a smaller bowl and spoon holding the Parmesan cheese! Every kid and adult, spoon in hand, was ready to devour the mostaccioli!
While his recipe was a mostaccioli and this is a penne recipe, it still pays hommage to the simple pasta.
Cook time is between 20-30 minutes.
Prep time is about 5-10 minutes.
900g dried penne pasta
1,360g cherry tomatoes, quartered
56g fresh basil chopped
1 tsp salt and pepper (or add to taste)
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp Choose to Infuze Garlic Chili Pepper oil
2 Tbsp red wine (optional but gives it a bit more flavour)
1 tsp dried Rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 cup ground Parmesan cheese
Add salt and pepper to quartered tomatoes and let sit for 10 minutes.
Boil salted water in large pot. At same time pre heat sauce skillet on med heat.
Add 2 tbsp Choose to Infuze Garlic Chili Pepper oil to sauce pan. When oil is heated add garlic and cook while stirring until golden.
Add tomatoes and cook at med heat for 10 minutes stirring and squishing tomatoes with the side of the wooden spoon. At same time add pasta into boiling water.
Remove from heat and add spices. Stir and let sit for 2-4 minutes.
Once pasta is ready, drain and mix in 2 tbsp of Choose to Infuze Garlic Chili Pepper Oil. add fresh basil, and mix well.
Add in the sauce and stir.
Serve with ground Parmesan cheese!
Simply add a bit of Choose to Infuze Garlic Chili Pepper Oil and re-heat in pan or in microwave.
Enjoy and please send your comments!