Penne Pasta

19 April 2023

Whether you are just trying to stretch the meal or old favorites need a little oomph, pasta is a good addition.

Penne is a tube-shaped pasta, rather small in diameter, that is scored, or striated, on the exterior, and the ends are cut at an angle so it looks like the end of a writing pen, thus the name.  Cute, huh?  It is easy to cook and will pair well with red or white sauce, meat, poultry, or vegetables.  The outside ridges make it easy for the sauce to adhere.  Since it is made from duram wheat, it will not get mushy if overcooked.  It can also come made from rice, corn, or other elements.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad


  • 1pound penne
  • 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1cup halved grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or other variety cubed
  • 1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2cup croutons
  • 2/3cup Caesar dressing
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1tablespoon freshly chopped parsley



  • In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook penne according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. Cook until golden and cooked through. Let rest 10 minutes, then cut into 1inch pieces.
  • Add romaine, tomatoes, Parmesan, croutons, and chicken to pasta bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together Caesar dressing, lemon juice, and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Pour over penne mixture and toss to combine.

Jambalaya Pasta


  • 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 links andouille sausage, sliced crosswise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10ounces penne
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 4cups chicken broth
  • 1/2cup heavy cream
  • 1cup shredded cheddar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for top
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish



  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and peppers and cook until soft, then add sausages and cook until browned. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add chicken. Season with Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring often, until chicken is golden and cooked through.
  • Add penne and stir, then add diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Simmer until pasta is al dente and almost all liquid is absorbed.
  • Stir in heavy cream and cheddar until melty.
  • Serve with Parmesan and parsley

French Onion Penne


  • 2tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 packet French onion soup mix
  • 1pound penne pasta
  • 2cups beef broth
  • 2cups water
  • 1/4cup heavy cream
  • 11/2cup Gruyère cheese, shredded



  • In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add onions and caramelize, stirring occasionally, until deeply golden. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add garlic, thyme, and French onion soup mix to pot and stir until garlic is fragrant.
  • Bring beef broth and water to a boil, add penne, then let simmer until pasta is al dente and most (but not all) liquid is absorbed.
  • Add heavy cream and 1 cup Gruyère and stir until cheese is melted.
  • Serve as is. Or to serve like French onion soup: Heat broiler. Transfer pasta to oven-safe bowls or ramekins and top with remaining Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes, then garnish with more thyme and serve immediately.
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