Gina's Summer Pasta Recipe: Penne with Brie, Tomatoes and Basil
When summer comes around, the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen cooking a meal for my family. To me, during the summer season, it's all about enjoying the outdoors and spending less time inside. While the barbeque is a great way to move cooking outdoors, sometimes I just crave an easy meatless meal that doesn't require any grilling.
This pasta recipe is great in summer when tomatoes are ripe and basil is fresh and abundant. As the sauce does not need to be cooked, this is a one-pot meal. The sauce can be made in advance. In fact, I prefer to make the sauce early and let is sit so the brie breaks down and the oil absorbs all the wonderful flavors.
This recipe can be found on many websites in various forms but here is my take on it. Enjoy!
Easy Summer Pasta Recipe
6-8 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped (removing liquid will make for a luscious, thick sauce)
1 – 1 ¼ lbs. Brie cheese, rind removed and cubed
1 - 1½ cups basil leaves, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 – 1 ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Sun dried tomatoes, slivered (optional)
2 lbs. penne
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
In a large serving bowl, which will be used to serve the final dish, combine prepared tomatoes, Brie, basil, garlic and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to your own taste and sun dried tomatoes if using.
Mix all ingredients, cover and set aside at room temperature (ideally for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to develop and the cheese to break down).
Cook your pasta as usual, drain well and pour immediately over the sauce. Toss well until cheese is completely melted.
Serve with additional black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.