Friday, April 16, 2010

Another One Of Giada's (Pasta Ponza)

Mmmm Giada De Laurentis does not dissapoint once again. And this time it is with a cheesy, savory, Italian dinner entree known as Pasta Ponza. As Giada so fluently explains, Ponza is a little Island off the west coast of Italy where her and her aunt first experienced this sweet and savory dish. As I have recently promised to post all of Giada's newest recipes as I make them, this one is a bit different because the original calls for capers (bleh!) and two times the ingredients. So the recipe below is almost line for line Giada's except made without capers (because honestly, something about them just grosses me out!) and the amount is cut in half because I was only cooking for me, my mother, and my father, rather than a party of six.
 I was so thrilled to make the pasta ponza, because it was only another excuse for me to go to my little herb garden and use the freshly grown parsley. It made the Italian cooking experience that much more authentic as well as filling my home with a wonderful, fresh aroma! This recipe parallels very similar to an older post, the baked tomato sauce, however the pasta ponza tops it one hundred percent. Pasta Ponza is so delectable with the fresh parmesan cheese, flavor popping grape tomatoes, and has now been ranked as a top pasta dish under my pasta favorites lists. (Don't worry I am not that much of a cooking geek, because all lists are kept inside my little head and have yet to be stored and sealed with a pen and some ink.)
unsalted butter, for greasing
2 cups red cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup Italian-style seasoned dried bread crumbs
1/2 pound ziti
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated plus extra to top
few leaves freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 375 and butter an 8 by 8 inch glass baking dish and set aside. Combing tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper in the baking dish and toss to coat. Sprinkle bread crumbs over mixture and drizzle again with olive oil. Bake about 20 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally until tender and al dente. Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add in tomato mixture and cheese. Toss well. Serve onto plate and sprinkle pepper if wanted as well as parsley and cheese on top for garnish. Serve, and enjoy!

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