Fabio Trabocchi, an F&W Best New Chef, likes this unusual method of cooking pasta in the style of risotto to create a rich, silky sauce. "It works beautifully with small shapes like penne," he says. A really good imported slow-dried pasta will be quite porous, which allows it to soak up liquid bit by bit, just as rice does in risotto; it also means the pasta will maintain its shape as it becomes al dente.
Slideshow: More Penne Recipes
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 pound slow-dried penne rigate
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups prepared marinara sauce
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunk
3/4 cup torn basil leaves, plus more for garnish
4 zucchini blossoms, stems and pistils removed, blossoms halved, for garnish
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the stock and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Keep warm over very low heat.
In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the penne and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 11/2 cups of the warm stock mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nearly absorbed. Stir in the marinara sauce; bring to a simmer. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently, until nearly absorbed before adding more. The pasta is done when it's al dente and the sauce is thick, about 25 minutes total.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until just starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes to the pasta and cook over moderate heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the 3/4 cup of basil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and garnish with the zucchini blossoms (if using) and basil. Serve right away with cheese.
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Review Body: I just love Risotto! Your recipe was fantastic. I just made it today and it was really delicious. Something that taste like Greek cuisine! thanks
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2016-08-18
Author Name: Cheshire_Kitty
Review Body: I am a sucker for pastas, and this one actually turns out really good.
Date Published: 2016-08-12
Author Name: karlospkc89
Review Body: I am cooking this with attitude! I so love your recipe.. Thanks for sharing. :)
Review Rating: 4
Date Published: 2016-08-26
Author Name: valeria966
Review Body: This recipe is great! Very interesting way to make some pasta!! Love it.
Date Published: 2016-08-27
Author Name: connorogra
Review Body: One tip: you can also mix olive oil with butter to get a true french taste of the pasta! It's delicious.
Date Published: 2016-08-29
Author Name: Shiva Chigurupati
Review Body: Nice recipe
Review Rating: 4
Date Published: 2016-09-20
Author Name: Ferd Berfle
Review Body: I'm sorry, but this recipe is just dumb. Pasta is not arborio rice, I don't care if it's slow-dried or not, and the result of this process is so barely distinguishable from a properly prepared traditional plate of penne con salsa marinara that I can't imagine wasting the time it takes to laboriously put this together again.
Review Rating: 1
Date Published: 2016-08-28
Author Name: Barbara Kreemer
Review Body: This was not worth the effort at all. I make a risotto-style penne cooked in mushroom or beef stock that does absorb the stock and taste delicious. This one tasted too strongly of tomatoes, and the texture was not that great. I used a large skillet, not sure how this could even cook in a saucepan. Almost any other regular marinara recipe would be better.