Our Mediterranean Summer Penne Recipe is a delicious pasta dish that will transport your taste buds to the sun-drenched shores of the Mediterranean! Bursting with the vibrant colors and bold flavors of the region, this dish is the perfect accompaniment to a summer evening spent with friends and family. Combining al dente penne pasta with a rich tomato sauce, briny Kalamata olives, and tangy anchovies, this recipe is elevated to the next level by the addition of juicy cherry tomatoes and creamy fresh mozzarella. Finished off with a garnish of fragrant basil leaves, this dish is a true celebration of the fresh, simple flavors of the Mediterranean.
Don’t have all of the ingredients at home? See our recipe substitutes below:
- Penne: If you don’t have penne pasta, you can substitute it with other short pasta shapes such as fusilli, rigatoni, or farfalle.
- Anchovies: You can substitute them with capers or sun-dried tomatoes for a similar briny flavor.
- Kalamata olives: If you don’t have Kalamata olives, you can substitute them with other types of black olives such as Niçoise or Gaeta olives.
- Cherry tomatoes: If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, you can substitute them with diced regular tomatoes or even roasted red peppers for a slightly different flavor.
- Mozzarella: Substitute it with other soft cheeses such as burrata or ricotta. Alternatively, you can use grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese for a different flavor profile.
- 400g (14oz) penne pasta
- 1 can (400g/14oz) of crushed tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
- 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup (80g) pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- 4-6 anchovy fillets
- 1 cup (150g) halved cherry tomatoes
- 200g (7oz) fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, until it thickens slightly.
- Add the cooked penne to the pan and toss to coat it in the sauce.
- Gently toss through anchovies and olives.
- Top with cherry tomatoes, torn pieces of fresh mozzarella and a few basil leaves. Serve immediately and enjoy!