Pasta with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Tomatoes


11/4 cups raisins

1 pound DaVinci® penne rigate pasta

9 tablespoons olive oil

8 garlic cloves, thickly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3/4 cup pine nuts

1 cup peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes (approximately 4-5 tomatoes)

4-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

4-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Grated zest of one lemon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

5 tablespoons Italian-style bread crumbs, toasted (See Chef's Tip.)

5 tablespoons freshly grated Romano cheese


Nick Stellino Cooking With Friends Nick Stellino Cooking With Friends

Serves 4 to 6

Soak the raisins in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Drain and discard the water; set the raisins aside.

Cook the pasta in boiling water according to the directions on the package until al dente.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, raisins and pine nuts. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, parsley, basil, mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper, then cook for 3 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Cook until the pasta is coated with the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss the pasta in the pan with the bread crumbs. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese and stir well.

Chef's tip:

To make toasted bread crumbs, heat a nonstick pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, reduce the heat to low, and stir well for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bread crumbs start to brown. Pour the bread crumbs onto a plate to cool off until ready to use.

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