This pasta recipe makes a simple and satisfying dish for the whole family. You can keep it basic for the kids, and then add some sautéed garlic, fresh herbs and a little chili pepper to spice it up for the grownups.
Servings: Makes 4 servings
The Basics
  • 1 pound Penne rigate pasta (or any other shaped semolina pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup mixed chopped tomatoes (if small, cut in half)
  • Salt to taste
For Grown-ups
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 cup mixed chopped tomatoes (if small, cut in half)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley and basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional) or 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalepeno
Fill a pot with water, add salt, and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and separate it into two bowls, one for the kids and one for the grownups.

For the kids: Pour the olive oil over the pasta, then add the cheese and tomatoes and toss. Salt to taste.

For the grown-ups: While the pasta is cooking, sauté the garlic and chili in the olive oil over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes. Do not let brown. Turn off heat and add the tomatoes to the pan. When the pasta is done, pour in the tomato and oil mixture, add the herbs and toss. Salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh Parmegiano Reggiano (or Parmesan cheese).


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