penne pasta

A Symphony of Flavors – Elevating Penne Pasta to Culinary Excellence!

Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as we delve into the art of crafting an extraordinary Penne Pasta dish. This recipe transcends the ordinary, showcasing the harmonious marriage of penne pasta, vibrant grape tomatoes, and a medley of cheeses. Join us in uncovering the secrets to achieving the perfect balance of flavors, textures, and aromas, turning a simple pasta dish into a masterpiece that tantalizes the taste buds and leaves a lasting impression.


  • 1 (8 ounce) package penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon basil oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil


Step 1: Cook the Penne Pasta

  1. Boil Penne Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
  2. Drain and Toss with Basil Oil:
    • Drain the cooked penne pasta and toss it with basil oil. Set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Tomato Mixture

  1. Sauté Garlic:
    • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add Grape Tomatoes:
    • Add halved grape tomatoes to the skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they start to soften but still maintain their shape.
  3. Combine with Penne:
    • Gently fold the tomato mixture into the cooked penne pasta, ensuring an even distribution of flavors.

Step 3: Create the Cheesy Blend

  1. Combine Cheeses:
    • In a bowl, combine shredded pepper Jack, mozzarella, and grated Parmesan cheeses.
  2. Layer Cheeses:
    • Preheat your oven’s broiler. In an oven-safe dish, layer half of the penne and tomato mixture. Sprinkle half of the cheese blend over the pasta.
  3. Repeat Layering:
    • Create another layer with the remaining penne and tomato mixture, followed by the rest of the cheese blend.

Step 4: Broil to Perfection

  1. Broil until Golden and Bubbly:
    • Place the dish under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Step 5: Garnish and Serve

  1. Finish with Fresh Basil:
    • Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle minced fresh basil over the top for a burst of herbal freshness.
  2. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Allow the dish to cool slightly before serving. Dive into a bowl of this delightful penne pasta, savoring each bite of gooey cheese, tender pasta, and burst of tomato flavor.

Cook Notes:

  • Be attentive while broiling to prevent burning. The goal is to achieve a golden, melted cheese topping.
  • Experiment with different types of basil oil for subtle variations in flavor.


Mediterranean Twist:

  • Add Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired variation.

Pesto Perfection:

  • Swirl in a few tablespoons of basil pesto for an extra layer of herbaceous goodness.

Sun-Dried Tomato Elegance:

  • Include chopped sun-dried tomatoes for a sweet and tangy flavor profile.

Keto Versions:

  • Substitute penne pasta with spiralized zucchini or shirataki noodles for a keto-friendly alternative.
  • Increase the proportion of pepper Jack and mozzarella cheese to add richness without additional carbs.

Low Carb Version:

  • Opt for cauliflower rice instead of penne pasta for a low-carb, keto-friendly base.
  • Use a blend of almond flour and coconut flour in the cheese topping to reduce carb content.

In conclusion, this Penne Pasta recipe transforms a simple dish into a culinary masterpiece, showcasing the beauty of fresh ingredients and the magic of melted cheeses. Whether you follow the classic recipe or venture into keto and low-carb adaptations, this dish is a celebration of indulgence. So, gather your ingredients, ignite your creativity, and let the flavors of basil, tomatoes, and cheeses dance on your palate. Elevate your pasta experience and relish in the satisfaction of crafting a memorable meal

Elevating Penne Pasta to Culinary Excellence

Burst of Flavorful Oils:

  • Enhance the dish with a drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil just before serving. Choose one infused with herbs or chili for an extra layer of complexity.

Toasted Nut Elegance:

  • Add a crunch by toasting pine nuts or slivered almonds in a dry pan until golden brown. Sprinkle them over the finished dish for an elegant touch.

Zesty Citrus Zing:

  • Elevate the freshness by squeezing a bit of lemon or lime juice over the pasta just before serving. The citrusy zing brightens up the entire dish.

Creative Variations

Smoked Gouda Sensation:

  • Replace the mozzarella with smoked Gouda for a rich, smoky flavor that pairs exceptionally well with the sweetness of grape tomatoes.

Spicy Pepper Jack Kick:

  • Boost the heat by incorporating diced jalapeños into the tomato mixture or using a spicier variety of pepper Jack cheese.

Mediterranean Fusion:

  • Introduce flavors of the Mediterranean by adding artichoke hearts, capers, and a handful of chopped fresh parsley to the tomato mixture.

Keto Creations for Guilt-Free Enjoyment

Cauliflower Power:

  • Swap the penne pasta with cauliflower florets for a keto-friendly, low-carb alternative. The cauliflower absorbs the flavors beautifully.

Creamy Coconut Secret:

  • Use coconut oil instead of olive oil for a subtle coconut undertone that pairs well with the creaminess of the cheeses.

Shirataki Symphony:

  • Opt for shirataki noodles as a low-carb substitute for penne pasta. Ensure they are well-drained and briefly pan-fried for optimal texture.

Low Carb Luxuries for Health-Conscious Delight

Spiralized Zucchini Elegance:

  • Create zucchini noodles using a spiralizer and lightly sauté them in olive oil for a refreshing, low-carb base.

Avocado Creaminess:

  • Blend ripe avocado with a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Dollop the creamy avocado mixture on top of the dish for a low-carb alternative to cheese.

Caramelized Cauliflower Brilliance:

  • Caramelize cauliflower florets in a pan with a touch of sweetener for a unique, low-carb twist that adds depth and complexity.

Savoring the Culinary Symphony

In conclusion, this Penne Pasta recipe serves as a canvas for culinary exploration, allowing you to customize and elevate the dish to match your taste preferences. Whether you choose to add smoky notes, infuse citrusy freshness, or cater to keto and low-carb lifestyles, this pasta creation is a testament to the versatility of a beloved classic. So, experiment, indulge, and savor the symphony of flavors that dance on your palate with each delightful bite. Buon Appetito!

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