Oh, this pasta. It’s one of my very favorites, because it is equally, perfectly, just plain right for either a busy weeknight or an elegant Saturday night dinner for company. It’s a silky, delicious combination of buttery, blue-cheesy, tomato-y goodness, laced with fresh basil and fresh ground pepper, and it comes together in a flash. I honestly can’t think of a thing that could makes this any better, and that includes bacon. So you know I’m serious.
I like to use campagnelle pasta for this dish, just because it is so dang pretty, but any short pasta will work. You want something that will hold the lovely sauce in its nooks and crannies, so ziti or rotini will also do just fine. While your pasta water is heating up you can throw together the sauce, which starts with a fast saute of shallots and chopped canned tomatoes. Yep, canned, and if you can find the San Marzano or Muir Glen brand they are my faves. Give them a quick chop and let them simmer with the shallots in some olive oil for about 20 minutes. This will give you time to cook up your pasta.
Now, right before you are ready to serve the pasta, mash up some butter with the blue cheese (decadent, I know!) and stir that into the tomato mixture until everything is nice and melted together. Add the pasta and toss, toss, toss until it is coated with the creamy, tomato-y sauce. Now gently mix in some fresh chopped basil and divide it among the plates. Scatter some basil leaves on top, give it a good grinding of fresh pepper, and dig in. One bite and you’ll see why this pasta has forever captured my heart!
Happy easy delicious pasta to you!Print
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 can tomatoes (14.5 ounces), drained and chopped into small pieces
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces blue cheese, room temperature
- 12 ounces pasta (campagnelle, ziti, rotini or other short pasta)
- 1 cup sliced fresh basil, plus a few small leaves for garnish
- Freshly ground pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously and cook pasta until done according to package directions and drain.
- As soon as you put the pot of water on to boil, start the sauce by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and stir for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Mash the butter and cheese together with a fork until combined. Add it to the sauce and stir until the butter and cheese are melted into everything.
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss well. Add the chopped basil and toss again.
- Divide the pasta among your dinner plates, grind some pepper on top, garnish with basil laves and serve!