Penne alla Pizzaiola: A Classic Italian Pasta Dish with a Tomato Twist

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a classic Italian pasta dish that is a favorite among both locals and tourists alike. This dish is a perfect example of the simplicity and elegance of Italian cuisine. It is a delicious and flavorful dish that is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

The origins of Penne alla Pizzaiola can be traced back to the Neapolitan region of Italy. This dish was created by pizza makers who used the same ingredients they used to make pizza to create a flavorful pasta dish. The dish is made with penne pasta, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and a variety of herbs and spices. It is a perfect example of the fusion of different culinary traditions that is so characteristic of Italian cuisine.

Key Takeaways

  • Penne alla Pizzaiola is a classic Italian pasta dish that is easy to prepare and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
  • The dish originated in the Neapolitan region of Italy and was created by pizza makers who used the same ingredients they used to make pizza to create a flavorful pasta dish.
  • Penne alla Pizzaiola is a perfect example of the fusion of different culinary traditions that is so characteristic of Italian cuisine.

Piero’s Recipe from the video:

  • Penne
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Strips of meat (optional) Chuck steak
  • Garlic
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Oregano
  • Capers
  • Salt & Pepper
If you would like to watch the video on YouTube you can click here. Please consider subscribing for the latest videos.

History and Origin

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a classic Italian dish that has its roots in the Neapolitan and Apulian tradition. Its name refers to the pizza maker’s style of cooking, which involves using tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, and white wine to flavor the meat. The dish is typically made with less expensive cuts of beef, which are cooked long enough to tenderize the meat.

The origins of Penne alla Pizzaiola are not entirely clear, but many food historians believe that it was created as a way for poorer people to make low-quality cuts of meat tastier and more edible. The dish was likely invented in the Campania region of Italy, where Naples is located.

The dish is often served with penne pasta, which is a tube-shaped pasta that was invented in Liguria, Italy, in the 19th century. Giovanni Battista Capurro patented a machine that could cut pasta diagonally without breaking it, and penne pasta was born. Today, penne pasta is one of the world’s most popular pasta shapes, and it has become a household name in Italy and abroad.

Penne alla Pizzaiola has evolved over time, and there are many variations of the dish. Some recipes call for the addition of anchovies, capers, or olives, while others use different types of meat, such as chicken or pork. However, the basic ingredients of tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, and white wine remain the same.

In summary, Penne alla Pizzaiola is a classic Italian dish that has its roots in the Neapolitan and Apulian tradition. Its name refers to the pizza maker’s style of cooking, which involves using tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, and white wine to flavor the meat. The dish likely originated in the Campania region of Italy, where Naples is located, and is often served with penne pasta, which was invented in Liguria, Italy, in the 19th century.

Ingredients

When it comes to making Penne alla Pizzaiola, there are three main components to consider: the pasta, the sauce, and the toppings. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in creating the dish’s signature flavor and texture.

Pasta

Traditionally, Penne alla Pizzaiola is made with penne pasta. This type of pasta is characterized by its short, tube-like shape, which is perfect for holding onto the sauce and toppings. To prepare the pasta, it is boiled in salted water until al dente, which means it is cooked through but still firm to the bite.

Sauce

The sauce for Penne alla Pizzaiola is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. Some recipes call for tomato sauce or Pomodoro, while others use fresh cherry tomatoes. The sauce is usually simmered over medium heat for around 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Some variations of the sauce may also include white wine, tomato paste, or peperoncino for a bit of spice.

Toppings

The toppings for Penne alla Pizzaiola can vary depending on personal preference. However, some common options include mozzarella cheese, fresh parsley, black olives, and capers. Some recipes also call for meat, such as beef slices, meatballs, or chicken, while others may include veggies like olives or bell peppers. Regardless of the toppings, they are typically added to the pasta and sauce mixture just before serving.

Overall, Penne alla Pizzaiola is a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its flavorful sauce, perfectly cooked pasta, and tasty toppings, it’s no wonder why this dish has become a classic in Italian cuisine.

Cooking Techniques

There are several ways to cook Penne alla Pizzaiola, a Neapolitan pasta dish that is a popular choice for a quick and easy meal. Here are three cooking techniques that are commonly used to prepare this dish: simmering, baking, and sautéing.

Simmering

Simmering is a popular cooking technique for Penne alla Pizzaiola. To simmer the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the penne. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, which means it is cooked but still firm to the bite. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, then add tomato sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked penne to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Baking

Baking is another popular way to cook Penne alla Pizzaiola. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, then add tomato sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the cooked penne to a baking dish and pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Bake the pasta in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot.

Sautéing

Sautéing is a quick and easy way to cook Penne alla Pizzaiola. Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, then add tomato sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook the sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cooked penne to the sauce and toss to coat. Cook the pasta for about 2 minutes, or until it is heated through. Serve hot.

Overall, Penne alla Pizzaiola can be cooked using several techniques, including simmering, baking, and sautéing. Each method has its own unique flavor and texture, so try them all to find your favorite.

Step by Step Recipe

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a delicious pasta recipe that is easy to make and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Here is a written step-by-step recipe to help you make this classic Italian dish.

Ingredients

To make Penne alla Pizzaiola, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Cook the penne pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the cooked penne pasta to the skillet with the sauce and toss to coat the pasta evenly.
  5. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta and sauce. Cover the skillet and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve hot.

Video

If you prefer to follow a video recipe, you can find many great options online, including our own at the top of the page or click here for youtube that shows how to make Penne alla Pizzaiola in just a few simple steps.

Whether you follow a written recipe or a video, Penne alla Pizzaiola is a delicious and easy pasta dish that is sure to become a family favorite.

Serving Suggestions

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a delicious and easy-to-make main course that is perfect for any occasion. It is a classic Italian dish that is loved by many, and it is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Here are a few serving suggestions to make your Penne alla Pizzaiola meal even more enjoyable.

Buon Appetito!

First and foremost, it is important to remember to enjoy your meal! Penne alla Pizzaiola is a dish that is meant to be savored and enjoyed. Take your time to savor each bite and appreciate the flavors that come together to make this dish so delicious.

Servings

When serving Penne alla Pizzaiola, it is important to keep in mind the number of people you are serving. This dish is perfect for a family dinner or a small gathering of friends. A typical serving size is about one cup of cooked pasta per person, so plan accordingly.

Side Dishes

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a hearty dish that can be served on its own, but it also pairs well with a variety of side dishes. A simple green salad or a side of roasted vegetables can help balance out the richness of the pasta dish. Garlic bread or a side of crusty bread is also a great addition to this meal.

Calories

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a relatively low-calorie dish, making it a great option for those watching their calorie intake. A single serving of Penne alla Pizzaiola contains approximately 350 calories, depending on the ingredients used. To reduce the calorie count even further, consider using whole wheat pasta and reducing the amount of cheese used in the recipe.

In summary, Penne alla Pizzaiola is a delicious, easy-to-make main course that is perfect for any occasion. With a few simple serving suggestions, you can make this classic Italian dish even more enjoyable for you and your guests.

Leftovers and Storage

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for any occasion. If you have any leftovers, you can easily store them and reheat them for another meal. Here are some tips for storing and reheating your Penne alla Pizzaiola leftovers:

  • Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
  • When reheating, add a few drops of food color to the pasta and microwave for 30-60 seconds. This will help the pasta retain its color and texture.
  • Reheat the mixture in the microwave, stirring well, then zap again until well heated. Allow the pasta to cool slightly after cooking before storing it in airtight containers.
  • You can also reheat your leftovers on the stovetop by adding a bit of water or broth to the pasta and cooking it over medium heat until heated through.

It is important to note that reheated pasta may not have the same texture as freshly cooked pasta. The pasta may become mushy or overcooked when reheated, so it is best to reheat only what you plan to eat.

In summary, Penne alla Pizzaiola is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for any occasion. If you have any leftovers, you can easily store and reheat them for another meal. Follow the tips above for the best results.

Tips & Tricks

When making Penne alla Pizzaiola, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure the dish turns out perfectly. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use high-quality ingredients: Since this dish has few ingredients, it’s important to use the best quality ones you can find. Use good-quality canned tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and high-quality olive oil for the best results.
  • Cook the pasta al dente: To ensure the pasta doesn’t become mushy during the baking process, it’s important to cook it al dente. This means cooking it until it’s just tender but still has a bit of bite to it.
  • Add some spice: While traditional Penne alla Pizzaiola is fairly mild, you can add some heat by adding red pepper flakes or using a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Let it rest: After baking the dish, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and make it easier to cut into portions.
  • Customize to your liking: While the traditional version of this dish includes only a few ingredients, there are many ways to customize it to your liking. Add some sautéed onions or mushrooms, use a different type of cheese, or experiment with different herbs and spices.

By following these tips and tricks, you can create a delicious and satisfying Penne alla Pizzaiola that’s sure to please everyone at the table.

Variations

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a classic Italian dish that can be made in different variations. Here are two popular variations of the dish:

Pasta Alla Pizzaiola

While Penne is the most commonly used pasta for this dish, other pasta types like spaghetti, rigatoni, and fusilli can be used as well. The recipe for Pasta alla Pizzaiola is similar to Penne alla Pizzaiola, but with a few differences. Instead of penne, spaghetti is used, and the dish is garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Spaghetti Pizzaiola

Spaghetti Pizzaiola is a variation of Penne alla Pizzaiola that uses spaghetti instead of penne. The spaghetti is cooked until al dente and then tossed with a homemade Pizzaiola sauce. This variation is perfect for those who prefer lighter and thinner pasta.

Other variations of the dish include adding meatballs or chicken to the dish. Meatballs can be made with beef or pork, and they are usually seasoned with garlic, salt, and pepper. Chicken can be cooked in the Pizzaiola sauce or grilled and served on top of the pasta.

For those who prefer a vegetarian option, veggies like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms can be added to the dish. This variation is perfect for those who love Mediterranean-style dishes.

The Pizzaiola sauce can also be customized to suit different tastes. Some people prefer a spicier sauce, while others prefer a milder sauce. The sauce can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes, and it can be seasoned with herbs like oregano and basil.

Overall, Penne alla Pizzaiola is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit different tastes. Whether you prefer meat, veggies, or a spicier sauce, there is a variation of this dish that will suit your taste buds.

Wine Pairing Suggestions for Penne alla Pizzaiola

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a classic Italian dish made with penne pasta, a tomato-based sauce, and pan-seared beef. The dish is packed with rich, bold flavors, and it pairs well with a variety of wines.

When it comes to wine pairing, it is important to consider the intensity of the dish’s flavors. Penne alla Pizzaiola has a rich tomato sauce, which pairs well with a medium-bodied red wine. Here are some wine pairing suggestions to enhance the flavors of your Penne alla Pizzaiola:

  • Sangiovese: As an Italian grape, Sangiovese is a natural choice to pair with Penne alla Pizzaiola. The wine’s high acidity and moderate tannins complement the dish’s bold tomato sauce and beef flavors.
  • Barbera: Barbera is another excellent choice for pairing with Penne alla Pizzaiola. The wine’s bright acidity and fruity flavors complement the dish’s rich tomato sauce, while its light tannins balance the beef’s richness.
  • Chianti: Chianti is a classic Italian wine that pairs well with many Italian dishes, including Penne alla Pizzaiola. The wine’s high acidity and tannins cut through the dish’s rich tomato sauce and beef flavors, making it a perfect match.
  • Merlot: Merlot is a medium-bodied red wine that pairs well with Penne alla Pizzaiola. The wine’s soft tannins and fruit-forward flavors complement the dish’s tomato sauce and beef flavors, without overpowering them.
  • Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: This Italian wine is a great choice for pairing with Penne alla Pizzaiola. Its bold flavors and high acidity complement the dish’s rich tomato sauce and beef flavors, making it a perfect match.

When pairing wine with Penne alla Pizzaiola, it is important to choose a wine that complements the dish’s bold flavors without overpowering them. These wine pairing suggestions are a great starting point, but ultimately, the best wine pairing is one that you enjoy the most.

Quality and Selection of Ingredients

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a classic Italian dish that is known for its simplicity and delicious flavor. The quality and selection of ingredients used in this dish are essential to achieving the perfect balance of flavors.

When it comes to selecting the right ingredients for Penne alla Pizzaiola, quality is key. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients will ensure that the dish has the best possible taste. The tomatoes used in the sauce should be ripe and flavorful, while the mozzarella cheese should be fresh and creamy.

Olive oil is an essential ingredient in Penne alla Pizzaiola. It is used to sauté the garlic and onions, which are then added to the sauce. Extra-virgin olive oil is the best choice for this dish, as it has a robust flavor that complements the other ingredients.

When selecting the tomatoes for the sauce, San Marzano tomatoes are the preferred choice. These tomatoes are known for their sweet, rich flavor and low acidity, making them perfect for sauces. When using canned tomatoes, it’s important to choose a high-quality brand that doesn’t contain any added preservatives or chemicals.

The mozzarella cheese used in Penne alla Pizzaiola should be fresh and creamy. It’s best to use mozzarella that is made from whole milk, as it has a richer flavor and creamier texture. When shredding the cheese, it’s important to use a coarse grater to achieve the perfect texture.

In conclusion, selecting the right ingredients for Penne alla Pizzaiola is essential to achieving the perfect taste. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients such as ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and extra-virgin olive oil will ensure that the dish is bursting with flavor.

Nutritional Information

Penne alla Pizzaiola is a delicious Italian pasta dish that is made with penne pasta, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and seasonings. It is a popular dish in Italy and around the world, but how does it fare nutritionally?

The nutritional information for Penne alla Pizzaiola can vary depending on the ingredients used and the portion size. However, here is a general overview of the nutritional information for a serving size of one cup (140g) of Penne alla Pizzaiola:

  • Calories: 200-300
  • Fat: 6-10g
  • Carbohydrates: 25-40g
  • Protein: 10-15g
  • Sodium: 500-800mg

As you can see, Penne alla Pizzaiola is a relatively moderate dish in terms of calories, with a serving size of one cup containing around 200-300 calories. However, the dish can be high in sodium due to the tomato sauce and cheese.

To make Penne alla Pizzaiola more nutritionally balanced, you can add some vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. This will add more fiber, vitamins, and minerals to the dish while reducing the calorie and sodium content.

It is also important to note that the nutritional information for Penne alla Pizzaiola can differ depending on the recipe and the cooking method. For example, using whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta can increase the fiber content of the dish, while using low-fat cheese can reduce the fat content.

Overall, Penne alla Pizzaiola can be a delicious and satisfying meal when enjoyed in moderation and with a balanced diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ingredients in Pizzaiola sauce?

Pizzaiola sauce is a tomato-based sauce that is typically made with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and oregano. Some recipes may also include capers, anchovies, or red pepper flakes for added flavor.

How is steak pizzaiola traditionally prepared?

Steak pizzaiola is traditionally prepared by pan-frying a steak and then simmering it in a tomato-based sauce with garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. The steak is then served with the sauce on top.

What is the difference between Penne alla Pizzaiola and Penne al Arrabiata?

Penne alla Pizzaiola and Penne al Arrabiata are both pasta dishes that are made with penne pasta and a tomato-based sauce. However, Penne alla Pizzaiola is typically made with a sauce that includes garlic, oregano, and sometimes capers, while Penne al Arrabiata is made with a spicy sauce that includes red pepper flakes.

What is the origin of Pasta alla Norma?

Pasta alla Norma is a traditional Sicilian pasta dish that is made with eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and ricotta salata. It is believed to have been created in the city of Catania in the 19th century and is named after the famous opera “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini.

What are the key ingredients in Pasta alla Sorrentina?

Pasta alla Sorrentina is a traditional Italian pasta dish that is made with penne pasta, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil. It is a popular dish in the Campania region of Italy, particularly in the town of Sorrento.

How is Shoemaker’s pasta made?

Shoemaker’s pasta, or pasta di calzolaio, is a traditional pasta dish from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It is made by cooking penne pasta in a tomato-based sauce with pancetta, onions, and red wine. The dish is then finished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Do you have other Pasta Dishes recipe Videos?

Yes! we do, here is a list:
Pasta Puttanesca
Authentic Italian Lasagne
Homemade Meatballs with Tagliatelle

Do you have any other videos? Yes here are our latest ones:

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Cooking With An Italian

Ciao I am Piero coming all the way from Puglia Italy. I created this site to bring my love of food to all, hope you enjoy.