Basic Parmesan Pomodoro
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for finishing
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 (14 ounce) cans peeled cherry tomatoes
3 large, full stems basil
1 carrot, peeled and cut in half
1/2 pound parmigiano reggiano cheese rinds, cut into 3 inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound penne rigate pasta
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
As seen on: Giada in Italy, Episode 8. Favorites From Italy.
Heat a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and the garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the garlic for 5 minutes, stirring often and mashing gently with a wooden spoon, until golden brown and beginning to soften. Add the cherry tomatoes and their juices, the basil, carrot and the parmesan rinds. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Bring to a simmer and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 35 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Season the sauce with the salt. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Remove the rinds, carrot and the basil. At this point you can use an immersion blender to puree slightly or leave it as a chunky sauce.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne 2 minutes less than the package directions. Meanwhile, rewarm the sauce in a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Using a spider, strain the pasta from the water and add directly into the pan with sauce. Before stirring, sprinkle the pasta with the 1/2 cup of grated parmesan. Toss the pasta, cheese and sauce together. Add the butter, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 cup of pasta water and continue to cook until the sauce is creamy and the pasta is al dente.
Serve topped with more cheese if desired.