Penne with Tomatoes and Havarti

Pasta Penne Havarti Tomatoes IIjpgSunday Night = Pasta Night!  I didn’t know if my strength was going to hang on to cook last night.  The Don and I had been out of town for the lovely wedding of our dear friend Lawrence.  (Tons of fun, but in the end, travel and elegant parties can be tiring depending on your current age!) His bride is lovely outside and in, and I look forward to years of experiences with the new Mr. and Mrs.  Adding to the energy drain, was the ordeal of hours, literally, spent yesterday afternoon, pouring over Istanbul hotels, studying web sites, phone calls with AmEx, phone calls with British Air, and phone calls with Brenton (who had spent equal or more hours studying).  At the end of the day, we were booked. Whew!  Re-energized by that monkey off my back, and having drained the remains of the refrigerated Friday Margarita pitcher, I managed to crawl in to the kitchen and cook one of my favorite pastas.  I don’t eat pasta often, so I want it to totally count when I do! Mmmmm.Pasta Penne Havarti Tomatoes

3 Tbs olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 t minced garlic
2 35 oz cans crushed tomatoes or coarsely chopped stewed tomatoes
2 Tbs fresh basil, finely chopped (or 2 t dried)
1 t dried red pepper

1 lb bag of Penne Pasta
1 cup grated Havarti
1/2 cup shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes.
Mix in tomato, basil and red pepper.
Cook on medium low 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with black pepper.

While sauce is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions.
Drain and rinse lightly with warm water.
Toss with 1 Tbs olive oil.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Pour pasta into the sauce pot.
Add the Havarti.
Lightly stir to mix all together.

Pour mixture in baking dish.

Bake 30 minutes uncovered.
Sprinkle with basil and Parmesan.

Serves 6 to 8.

*When tomatoes are in season, always avail yourself them in creating the sauce.  The flavor is much fresher and cleaner tasting.

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