A hearty, rich solo dinner recipe for Basil and Tomato Penne Pasta, topped with melted cheddar and mozzarella cheese
75g penne pasta
1/4 onion – peel & chop finely
50g button mushrooms – slice thinly
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 sachet tomato paste
1 tomato – dice (½ cm)
3g fresh basil – discard stalks
15g cheddar – grate coarsely
15g grated mozzarella
olive oil (from your pantry)
salt & pepper (from your pantry)
Preparation: Boil the kettle. Prepare all ingredients as indicated above.
Penne pasta: Place a pot on medium-high heat and add the boiling water. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the penne and cook for 10 minutes. You want it al dente, which is slightly chewy and translucent. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
Mushroom mix: Place a pan on medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and brown for 3 minutes, then add the dried basil, fennel seeds and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds before adding tomatoes and water (1 cup for 4; ½ cup for 2). Cook for 10 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and the sauce has thickened. Chop the fresh basil leaves finely, add to the pan with the penne and mix through. Top with the cheddar and mozzarella, turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid or plate. Leave for 1 minute until the cheese has melted.
Serve straight away.