This dish is lighter than your usual 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
I know it will not come as a surprise that they typically use tomato or marinara sauce that they cook for hours. 🙂 I do NOT often have that luxury though. So, for those days, I use my go-to Marinara Sauce. Still great result, I assure you. 🙂
You can use a different kind of pasta, of course. Personally, I prefer the ‘tubular’ shapes for this dish. I normally alternate between penne and rigatoni. They both have wedges and holes that keeps the sauce (and cheese!).
As for the cheese, this is not part of the recipe, but 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 simply does not go well – so keep that in mind.
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! 🙂
This dish 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.