In honor of Mrs. Hackknife's cousin Glenn and his wedding this past Saturday, I decided to try another one in the pile of recipes he gave us last year: penne al pomodoro secco (sun-dried tomato). This is one of two recipes of his that features noodles that are browned in olive oil before cooking to add more depth of flavor, a little trick that Glenn learned from an Italian housewife in a cooking class many years back. The rest of the recipe (all of it, actually) is pretty straightforward and produced a nice pasta dish for a Sunday night, so nice in fact that even Hackknife Jr. and Hackknifette ate a little without their usual meal-time consternation. Given that it contains some half-and-half/butter, the reheated leftovers lost a little over time, but were still perfectly edible for a few repeat meals.
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. penne pasta
5 cups chicken stock (I used 4 cups stock and 1 cup chicken broth)
3/4 c. half-and-half
5 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped (or 1/4 cup dried)
2 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (I probably used closer to 4 oz.)
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add pasta and saute until it browns, stirring often. Add 2 c. chicken stock and simmer uncovered until liquid is absorbed. Add 2 more c. stock and repeat. Add last cup of stock along with tomatoes. Cook until liquid is gone. Turn off heat, then add cream and butter, stirring until well-mixed. Add cheese and basil. Stir and serve immediately.