Pasta with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Tomatoes
- 1 pound penne rigate, cooked al dente
- 9 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 11/4 cups raisins, soaked in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes, drained, water discarded
- ¾ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes, (approximately 4 -5 tomatoes)
- 4½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 4½ tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- The grated zest of one lemon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 tablespoons Italian-style bread crumbs, toasted
- 5 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Cook the pasta according to the package direction.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan set on medium-high heat 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, the mint, the lemon zest, salt and pepper, cook for 3 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Cook until pasta coated with the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Toss the pasta in the pan with the bread crumb mixture. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese and stir well.
To make toasted breadcrumbs heat up a non-stick pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs reduce the heat to low and stir well for 1-2 minutes until the breadcrumbs start to brown. Pout the breadcrumbs in a plate to cool off, until ready to use.
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