PLAZA GRILLE PENNE WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA

Working my way through another cozy series at the moment, so today is a recipe day. This is very popular in my house. There used to be a restaurant on Federal Hill (where my book happens to be set) called Plaza Grille. It is gone now but that is where this recipe came from. So quick and easy but tastes sooooo good.

  • 3 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chicken base (I use Better Than Bullion brand)
  • 1 pinch of red pepper seeds
  • 1 handful of chopped, fresh basil
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 mozzarella balls chopped fine (See note)
  • 1 pound penne pasta

Melt butter in pan. Add olive oil and carmelize it with the butter. Add chicken base and stir to dissolve. Add red pepper seed and chopped basil. Heat for about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes. Cook with tomatoes for about 3 minutes. Mash some tomatoes with spoon to aid in reducing tomatoes. (I mash them a lot!!!!)

In a separate pan, boil pasta.
Remove tomato mix from heat.
Remove pasta from heat and drain.
In a large bowl place chopped mozzarella at bottom. Pour pasta over chopped mozzarella, then add tomato mix. Mix well. Serve immediately.
Note: Make sure the mozzarella is at room temperature. That’s how it will nicely melt into the warm pasta.

Serves 4.

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