Pasta with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Tomatoes

A unique combination of pine nuts, raisins and tomatoes enhances the gusto of the Penne Rigate by adding a surprisingly sweet taste.

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Penne Rigate , cooked al dente
  • 9 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 8 Garlic cloves , thickly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cups cups Raisins, soaked in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes, drained, water discarded
  • 3/4 cup Pine nuts
  • 1 cup tomatoes, Peeled, seeded and diced (approximately 4-5 tomatoes)
  • 4 1/2 tbsp tablespoons Chopped fresh basil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons Chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons Chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Lemon's grated zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoon Italian-style bread crumbs toasted
  • 5 tablespoon Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, raisins and pine nuts. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, parsley, basil, mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 more minutes.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Cook until pasta is coated with the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Toss the pasta in the pan with the bread crumb mixture. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese and stir well.
  6. Chef's Tip: To make toasted breadcrumbs, heat up a non-stick pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs, reduce the heat to low and stir well for 1-2 minutes until the breadcrumbs start to brown. Pour the breadcrumbs in a plate to cool off, until ready to use.


Recipe courtesy of Nick Stellino. Watch for his new cookbook and Public Television series: "Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends". www.nickstellino.com