I find it amazing that I have made it through two months worth of blog posts without posting any pasta recipes. (Ok,ok, disregarding this one). But, for someone who eats and loves pasta as much as I do, it is quite an accomplishment! However, this week I have been craving a Penne Alla Arrabiata, except with cheese and garlicky breadcrumbs. I used the thyme, asiago and fontina I had on hand—but herbs such as basil or oregano would work well with mozzarella or parmesan. This dish comes together quick and the leftovers as just as glorious the next day. Mangia!
Spicy Two-Cheese Penne with Garlic Thyme Breadcrumbs
1 lb wheat penne pasta
1/4 c olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, 3 minced and one whole (peeled)
2 t red-pepper flakes
1 t salt
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
the zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 c cheese (I used a combo of asiago and fontina), grated
4 1" slices french bread, ripped into cubes
2 t fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta, 7-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil and add minced garlic, red-pepper flakes and salt. Stir 2 minutes until garlic begins to brown. Add whole peeled tomatoes and cook 10 minutes, breaking up tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Add lemon zest, stir and remove from heat. In a food processor, combine bread cubes and 1 garlic clove. Pulse until combined. Add thyme.
To assemble, mix penne, spicy tomato sauce and 1 cup cheese in a 9"x12" casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs and the rest of the cheese. Bake 20 minutes, until cheese begins to brown.