Smoked Mozzarella & Gouda Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

I’ll be honest…I didn’t think my kids were going to go for this one.  I knew the flavors were going to be amazing – and they are – but there would be too much going on for a five year old and seven year old palette. Not so, my friends.  I couldn’t keep their fingers out of this dish as I was shooting the photos.  For the record they were my lighting crew and somehow I managed get a few good shots without said fingers in the picture.

The smokiness from the mozzarella and the mild nutty and fruity flavor of the Gouda goes so well with the tangy sun dried tomatoes.  And it’s great for a large party because you can assemble it all ahead and bake when ready.  I highly recommend adding some crushed red pepper flakes and pancetta if you are making it for a non-vegetarian and non-kid crowd.  Keeper.

  1. Butter a 10 x 7 inch rectangular baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove top.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the instructions on the box.  Typically 9 minutes.  Be careful not to over cook.  Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and drain pasta. 
  3. Place cooked pasta in a large bowl and in the ¼ cup of cooking liquid, sun dried tomato pesto and ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese.   Stir to coat the noodles evenly.
  4. Place the sun dried tomatoes in a small bowl and add boiling hot water to them.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes and drain liquid.  Chop dried tomatoes.
  5. Place the sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, cubed cheese and parsley in the large bowl with the pasta.  Season with a small amount of salt and add pepper to taste.  Mix gently with a large spatula or wooden spoon.  Place mixture in baking dish and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  Remove foil and broil top until golden brown (careful to watch it so it doesn’t burn)
1 -12oz package Collezione or Penne Pasta

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping

3 tablespoons Sun dried tomato pesto

½ cup plain Sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

6 oz Gouda cheese, rind removed and cut into small cubes

6 oz Smoked Mozzarella, rind removed and cut into small cubes

2 cups small heirloom Tomatoes or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

½ cup Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Salt & Pepper

*optional items to add to the pasta before baking

Pinch of red pepper flakes

4-5 slices of pancetta cooked until crisp

Serves 8

Pairs Well With… 

BBQ Chicken & Seasonal Green salad 
Pinot Noir or red Zinfandel 
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