Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

This recipe is a delightful blend of penne pasta, salsa verde, and cherry tomatoes. It's an easy-to-make dish packed with robust flavors. The salsa verde, made with parsley, capers, and a hint of anchovy, infuses the pasta with a tangy, savory twist. The juicy cherry tomatoes add a burst of freshness and the mozzarella lends a creamy, melty finish. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a casual gathering.

Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe
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While most ingredients for this recipe are commonly found in home pantries, there are a couple that may require a trip to the supermarket. Flat leaf parsley, capers, and anchovy paste are key elements of the salsa verde and may not be regular staples. Flat leaf parsley, also known as Italian parsley, has a robust flavor compared to its curly counterpart. Capers are small flower buds, pickled for a tangy punch. Anchovy paste, made from ground anchovies, provides a salty, umami flavor. Lastly, fresh mozzarella is different from the regular kind, it's a soft, moist cheese that melts beautifully.

Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Ingredients

Flat leaf parsley: This flavorful herb is an essential part of the salsa verde, providing a fresh and vibrant taste.

Garlic: Gives a pungent, earthy flavor that enhances the overall taste of the dish.

Capers: These add a tangy element to the salsa verde, balancing the other flavors.

Anchovy paste: Adds a unique umami taste to the salsa verde.

Olive oil: Provides a healthier cooking medium with a rich, fruity flavor.

Red wine vinegar: Brings an acidic balance to the salsa verde.

Penne rigate: A tube-shaped pasta that perfectly holds the salsa for a flavor-packed bite.

Fresh mozzarella: Adds a creamy, melting texture to the dish.

Cherry tomatoes: These sweet, juicy additions provide a burst of freshness.

One reader, Ailsun Byers says:

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This penne pasta with salsa verde and cherry tomatoes recipe is a game-changer! The vibrant flavors of the salsa verde perfectly complement the sweet burst of cherry tomatoes. The dish is a delightful blend of freshness and zest, making it an absolute winner for any pasta lover. Highly recommended!

Ailsun Byers

Techniques Required for Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes

Prepare the salsa verde: In a blender or food processor, puree the parsley, garlic, capers, and anchovy paste with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper until smooth.

Cook the penne: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne rigate until al dente, about 13 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Toss the pasta: In a large bowl, toss the cooked penne with the prepared salsa verde, fresh mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes until well combined.

Cut the mozzarella: Cut the fresh mozzarella into cubes and drain any excess liquid before adding it to the pasta.

Serve and enjoy: This dish pairs well with a white wine that complements the saltiness of the capers and anchovy paste and the acidity of the tomatoes, such as an Ugni Blanc from the Côtes de Gascogne.

How To Make Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes

Amp up your usual penne pasta with a serving of this dish that’s loaded with piquant salsa verde, salty capers, and juicy tomatoes, for a fresher meal!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • ¾cupflat leaf parsley,lightly packed, with thick stems removed
  • 2garlic cloves
  • tbspcapers,drained
  • ½tspanchovy paste
  • 6tbspolive oil
  • ¾tspred wine vinegar
  • ¾tspsalt
  • ¼tspfresh-ground black pepper
  • ¾lbpenne rigate
  • ¾lbfresh mozzarella
  • 2cupscherry tomatoes

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the parsley, the smashed garlic, the capers, and the anchovy paste with the olive oil, the wine vinegar and the salt and pepper.

  2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne rigate for about 13 minutes, until just done. Drain.

  3. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the parsley mixture, mozzarella and tomatoes.

  4. Serve, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 774.15kcal
  • Fat: 40.90g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.28g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 20.59g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.38g
  • Carbohydrates: 70.26g
  • Fiber: 4.32g
  • Sugar: 5.57g
  • Protein: 31.38g
  • Cholesterol: 67.61mg
  • Sodium: 687.04mg
  • Calcium: 477.88mg
  • Potassium: 537.01mg
  • Iron: 2.65mg
  • Vitamin A: 236.68µg
  • Vitamin C: 27.56mg

Technique Tip for Enhancing Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde Flavor

To ensure your salsa verde maintains a vibrant green color and fresh taste, avoid overheating it. Heat can cause the parsley to lose its bright color and can also alter the flavor. Instead, toss the hot penne pasta with the salsa verde, allowing the residual heat from the pasta to slightly warm the sauce. This will keep your dish looking and tasting its best.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Penne Pasta Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the salsa verde and cut the mozzarella and cherry tomatoes in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Multitask: While the pasta is cooking, you can simultaneously prepare the salsa verde and chop the mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.

Fresh ingredients: Opt for pre-cut mozzarella and cherry tomatoes to save time on prep work.

Quick cook: Use quick-cooking pasta such as penne rigate to reduce the overall cooking time.

Efficient assembly: Toss the pasta with the prepared salsa verde, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl for a quick and efficient assembly.

Substitute Ingredients For Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

  • penne rigate - Substitute with fusilli: Fusilli has a similar shape and texture, making it a suitable substitute for penne rigate in this recipe.

  • flat leaf parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can provide a fresh and vibrant flavor similar to flat leaf parsley, adding a unique twist to the salsa verde.

  • mozzarella - Substitute with burrata: Burrata has a creamy texture and a rich flavor, which can complement the dish in a similar way to mozzarella.

  • cherry tomatoes - Substitute with grape tomatoes: Grape tomatoes are small and sweet, similar to cherry tomatoes, and can be used as a substitute in this recipe.

Presenting Penne Pasta with a Zesty Twist

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting this dish, focus on creating a visually stunning plate. Use fresh mozzarella as a centerpiece and arrange the penne pasta and cherry tomatoes in an artful and appealing manner.

  2. Incorporate color contrast: Utilize the vibrant green salsa verde as a base to create a striking contrast against the bright red cherry tomatoes and the white mozzarella. This will not only enhance the visual appeal but also create an appetizing presentation.

  3. Emphasize texture: Pay attention to the texture of the dish. Ensure that the penne pasta is cooked al dente for a satisfying bite, and the mozzarella is cut into cubes to provide a delightful contrast in texture.

  4. Highlight the freshness of ingredients: Showcase the freshness of the ingredients by using high-quality, vibrant parsley and ripe cherry tomatoes. This will not only enhance the flavors but also add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the dish.

  5. Consider the plate shape and size: Choose a plate that complements the colors and textures of the dish. Opt for a medium-sized, round plate to allow the components to stand out and create a visually appealing presentation.

  6. Garnish with finesse: Add a final touch by garnishing the dish with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil. This will add a touch of elegance and elevate the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde

  • Blender or food processor: Use to puree the parsley, garlic, capers, and anchovy paste with the olive oil, wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Large pot: Used to boil the penne rigate until just done.
  • Colander: Used to drain the cooked penne rigate.
  • Large bowl: Used to toss the pasta with the parsley mixture, mozzarella, and tomatoes.
  • Knife: Use to cut the mozzarella into cubes.
  • Cutting board: Place to cut the mozzarella into cubes.
  • Wine glass: To serve the recommended white wine with the dish.

Storing and Freezing Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes

  • To store leftover penne pasta with salsa verde and cherry tomatoes, allow the dish to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.

  • When reheating, add a splash of water or olive oil to the pasta to help revive the sauce and prevent the pasta from drying out. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

  • For longer storage, you can freeze the pasta dish. Transfer the cooled pasta to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

  • To thaw frozen penne pasta with salsa verde and cherry tomatoes, place the container in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours until completely thawed. Reheat as mentioned above, adding a little extra water or olive oil to restore the sauce's consistency.

  • It's important to note that the texture of the cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella may change slightly after freezing and thawing. The tomatoes may become softer, and the cheese may release some moisture. However, the overall flavor of the dish should remain delicious.

How To Reheat Leftover Penne Pasta Dish

  • Reheat the leftover penne pasta in a microwave-safe dish, covered with a damp paper towel, for 1-2 minutes on high power, stirring halfway through to ensure even heating. This method is quick and easy, but may result in slightly softer pasta texture.

  • For a crispier texture, reheat the penne pasta in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of olive oil or a knob of butter. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and distribute the heat evenly. This method takes a bit longer but can help restore some of the original texture.

  • If you have a bit more time, reheat the penne pasta in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), transfer the pasta to an oven-safe dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. This method is great for larger portions and helps maintain the texture of the pasta.

  • For a quick and flavorful reheat, place the leftover penne pasta in a microwave-safe bowl and add a splash of chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through. The added liquid will help keep the pasta moist and prevent it from drying out.

  • If you want to refresh the flavors of the salsa verde, consider adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, or a pinch of red pepper flakes before reheating. These additions can help brighten up the leftover dish and make it taste more vibrant.

Random Fact about Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes

Penne pasta with salsa verde and cherry tomatoes is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. It's a great way to incorporate fresh herbs and vegetables into your meal, and the combination of flavors is sure to please your taste buds. Plus, it's a quick and easy recipe to whip up for a weeknight dinner or a weekend gathering with friends and family.

Is Making Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this penne pasta with salsa verde and cherry tomatoes recipe is quite favorable. The ingredients, such as pasta, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes, are generally affordable and widely available. The use of simple, fresh ingredients makes this dish a budget-friendly option for a household. The overall verdict rating for this recipe would be an 8/10, considering its balance of cost, flavor, and nutritional value. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $15-$20, making it an economical choice for a satisfying meal.

Is Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Healthy?

The penne pasta with salsa verde and cherry tomatoes recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. On the positive side, it includes:

  • Fresh vegetables like parsley and cherry tomatoes, which provide vitamins and antioxidants
  • Olive oil, a healthy source of monounsaturated fats
  • Garlic, known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties

However, there are some less healthy components:

  • High sodium content from the capers, anchovy paste, and added salt
  • Refined carbohydrates in the penne pasta, which can cause blood sugar spikes
  • Saturated fat from the fresh mozzarella cheese

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following adjustments:

  • Swap the regular penne for whole wheat or legume-based pasta to increase fiber and nutrient content
  • Reduce the amount of salt and anchovy paste, relying more on herbs and spices for flavor
  • Use a reduced-fat mozzarella or replace half of it with a lower-calorie cheese like ricotta
  • Increase the proportion of cherry tomatoes and add other colorful vegetables like bell peppers or zucchini to boost the dish's nutritional value
  • Incorporate a lean protein source, such as grilled chicken or shrimp, to make it a more balanced meal

By making these tweaks, you can transform this pasta dish into a more nutritious and well-rounded option that still delivers on taste and satisfaction.

Editor's Take on This Zesty Penne Pasta Dish

This recipe for penne pasta with salsa verde and cherry tomatoes is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The salsa verde adds a vibrant and herbaceous punch, complemented by the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes and the creamy richness of the fresh mozzarella. The use of anchovy paste and capers adds a depth of umami that elevates the dish to a new level. The wine recommendation is spot on, offering a perfect pairing to enhance the overall dining experience. This recipe is a wonderful showcase of simple, quality ingredients coming together to create a memorable and satisfying meal.

Enhance Your Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Bread: Create a delicious garlic bread with a twist by adding roasted garlic and parmesan cheese for an extra kick of flavor.
Grilled Vegetables: Prepare a colorful and flavorful medley of grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant, seasoned with herbs and olive oil.
Mixed Green Salad: Whip up a refreshing mixed green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing, featuring a variety of fresh lettuce, arugula, and spinach, topped with cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese.

Similar Recipes to Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: This creamy and indulgent pasta dish is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of tender chicken and rich alfredo sauce will leave you feeling satisfied and content.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers: These colorful and flavorful vegetable skewers are perfect for a summer barbecue. The combination of grilled veggies and a tangy marinade will have everyone coming back for more.
Mango Coconut Rice Pudding: This tropical twist on a classic dessert is a refreshing and satisfying treat. The combination of sweet mango and creamy coconut will transport you to a sunny paradise with every bite.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and crispy on top for a delicious bite-sized treat.
Bruschetta: Serve up a classic Italian appetizer by topping crispy slices of toasted bread with a vibrant mixture of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. This light and refreshing dish is perfect for starting off a meal.
Desserts:
Tiramisu: Indulge in a classic Italian dessert with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and creamy mascarpone cheese. Top it off with a dusting of cocoa powder for a rich and decadent treat.
Chocolate Mousse: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a velvety smooth chocolate mousse. This elegant dessert is perfect for special occasions and can be garnished with fresh berries or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra touch of luxury.

Why trust this Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, combining the freshness of flat leaf parsley with the briny punch of capers and the subtle umami richness of anchovy paste. The use of fresh mozzarella adds a creamy, indulgent element, perfectly complementing the burst of sweetness from cherry tomatoes. The careful balance of olive oil and red wine vinegar in the salsa verde ensures a harmonious blend of tangy and savory notes. Trust in the quality and harmony of these ingredients to create a dish that's both comforting and exciting.

Excited to try this Penne Pasta with Salsa Verde and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe? Share your experience and any tweaks you made in the Recipe Sharing forum!
FAQ:
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use a different type of pasta if you prefer. The salsa verde and cherry tomatoes will pair well with a variety of pasta shapes, such as fusilli, farfalle, or even spaghetti.
Can I substitute the fresh mozzarella with another type of cheese?
Certainly! While fresh mozzarella adds a creamy texture, you can substitute it with other cheeses like feta, goat cheese, or even grated Parmesan for a different flavor profile.
I don't have a blender or food processor. Can I still make the salsa verde?
Absolutely! If you don't have a blender or food processor, you can finely chop the parsley, garlic, and capers and mix them with the other ingredients. The texture may be slightly different, but the flavors will still come together beautifully.
Can I make the salsa verde in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the salsa verde ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just give it a good stir before using it in the recipe.
What can I serve as a side dish with this pasta?
A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette or some garlic bread would complement this dish wonderfully. The freshness of the salad or the warmth of the garlic bread will balance the flavors of the pasta dish.

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