This dish is lighter than your usual baked pasta! Penne alla Sorrentina does NOT contain any meat, but every bite is just as delicious and satisfying — judge for yourself!
Penne alla Sorrentina is a perfect example of the simplicity of the dishes from Campania, a region in south Italy. Sorrento (where this dish comes from), Napoli, Capri and Amalfi coast – all these stunning places are in Campania.
If you are wary that it would be ‘blah’ because there is no meat in the sauce, think again. The combination of the three types of cheese gives this dish a delectable and delicate flavor; and then you get the hint of freshness from the basil leaves. Nope, ‘blah’ will not even cross your mind. 🙂
How to Make Penne alla Sorrentina
WHAT DOES ‘ALLA SORRENTINA’ MEAN?
It literally means ‘Sorrento style’. There are three things that are hard to miss in Sorrento (because they’ve got the best 🙂 ):
The first two are the main ingredients when they say ‘alla sorrentina’. They normally serve it with gnocchi or different types of pasta — either as regular sauce or baked. The freshness of these two ingredients really stand out because of the simplicity of the whole dish. YUM.
Now, since I live in Stockholm, I do NOT have the luxury of having great tomatoes. So, I will not even attempt to use them for cooking this dish. As an alternative, I use my go-to Marinara Sauce. Still great result, I assure you. 🙂
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF PASTA?
Yep, you can use a different kind of pasta. I prefer the ‘tubular’ shapes for this dish. I normally alternate between penne and rigatoni. They both have wedges and holes that keep the sauce (and cheese!).
CAN I USE OTHER TYPES OF CHEESE?
Personally, if I have other types of cheese available, I normally add a bit of it as well. (Yep, sneaky 🙂 ). I do this EXCEPT for blue cheese; doesn’t matter if it’s gorgonzola ‘dolce’ or ‘piccante’, it just does not go well – so keep that in mind.
HOW DO I SERVE PENNE ALLA SORRENTINA?
You can serve penne alla sorrentina as a side dish or as a main dish. It’s light enough to be eaten with roasted or grilled meat and filling enough on its own. A winner either way.
Oh! And a glass of wine, of course. The limoncello comes after. Enjoy! 😀
For other pasta dishes, you can check out these posts –
- Pasta alla Norma
- Roasted Breadcrumbs & Cherry Tomatoes Pasta
- Chanterelle & Asparagus Tagliatelle
- Spaghetti with Fried Peppers
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE PENNE ALLA SORRENTINA
(*This post contains some affiliate links)
MY AMAZON PICKS:
Penne alla Sorrentina is lighter than your normal baked pasta, but just as delicious and filling!
- 350 grams penne rigate, (about 4 cups)
- 250 grams ricotta, (about 1 cup)
- 1 & 1/4 cup marinara sauce
- 1 & 1/2 cup mozzarella, chopped roughly
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
- 15 basil leaves
Preheat oven to 180°C (350° F).
Prepare penne as per package instruction. Two minutes before the instructed cooking time, take it off the heat. Drain.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta with 2 tbsp of marinara sauce. Mix.
Add penne into the ricotta mix. Combine.
Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
Spread half of penne on the baking dish. Top with 1/3 cup of marinara sauce, half of the mozzarella, half of the parmigiano reggiano, and half of basil leaves. Repeat with the remaining penne, sauce, mozzarella, parmigiano and basil leaves.
Place in the oven for 45 minutes, or until top turns slightly brown.
Take out of the oven and set aside for 15 minutes.