Entertaining Featured Food

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

November 17, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayPairings #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

When it comes to the holidays I put my focus one place: family.

Our traditions have deep roots and I look forward to them each and every year. Some of these include, but are not limited to, making up our own lines to the 12 Days of Christmas using silly (and sometimes downright obscene) imagery and coming up with celebrities to write on the gift tag “from” lines. I can’t remember how many Justin Timberlakes or Taylor Hansons I got as a preteen.

These extraordinarily fun pieces of my family are what make the holidays whole for me.

It didn’t really hit me until the past few years just how easy it is to miss out on these moments if you’re the one preparing the food. *Flashback to me stuffing my face at the appetizer table without a care in the world*

So, I went out on a mission to create a quick meal that won’t steal me away from family time for more than 20 minutes.

But first I needed a glass of wine.

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

First rule of Italian family cooking: eat while you cook. Have you ever wondered why your mom and grandma come to the holiday table and push a single piece of food around the plate for a couple hours while trying to hand everyone else seconds, thirds, and fourths? There’s your answer.

Second rule of Italian family cooking: red wine is a must. That glass I mentioned a bit ago? It was Estancia Wine Cabernet Sauvignon, which just so happens to pair exceptionally well with my chosen meal of the night: Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese.

Expert tip: I stopped at Walmart to pick up the wine (huge selection at a great price) and some Pepperidge Farm cookies for after dinner, but also left with a box of Barilla Pronto Pasta. If you haven’t cooked with this pasta already, you’re going to want to try it. You put the pasta in the pot before you even turn on the stove, add cold water, and set the timer for 10 minutes. You don’t wait for the water to boil before adding to the pot or drain the pasta afterwards. It’s a serious time saver!

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Now that the table was set, I plated the pasta.

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

I love the way the red, white, and green in this dish look on my holiday table. Here’s my recipe:

Easy Balsamic Glazed Penne with Sundried Tomatoes, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Yields: 4-6 servings

  • 1 box Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 7 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 1/2 cups basil, shredded
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Shredded Parmesan
  1. Prepare Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta using instructions on box.
  2. Transfer pasta from pot to large serving bowl.
  3. Add olive oil to pot at medium-heat.
  4. Stir in chopped garlic, cooking for 1 minute.
  5. Drain sundried tomatoes and add to garlic/oil mixture, cooking for 2 additional minutes.
  6. Add contents of pot to cooked pasta along with shredded basil and goat cheese crumbles and toss.
  7. Plate pasta and top with balsamic glaze and shredded Parmesan as desired. Enjoy!
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 20 minutes

After dinner I plated up the Pepperidge Farm Cookie Collection for a no fuss dessert that still looked beautiful and were gone in seconds.

These are the products to look for when you head to the store as well as which aisles to find them in.

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Ingredient Locations

For information on upcoming wine tastings and Barilla and Pepperidge Farm demos through the holiday season, visit the Simple Entertaining Hub here.

Do you have any quirky family traditions? Let me know in the comments!

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6 Comments

  • Reply Samantha Jo November 17, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Looks amazing — the food and the table settings! Love your decor style!

  • Reply Janet Smith November 20, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    How do you make the balsamic glaze?

    • Reply Sarabeth McElhaney November 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Janet, you can buy the glaze pre-made at the store. It’s sold next to the Balsamic vinegars. Thanks for reading!
      Sarabeth McElhaney recently posted…#TopKnotTalk 11/19My Profile

      • Reply Pattie November 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

        Sarabeth, this recipe looks DELISH!!! Going to try it tomorrow night. I love that you actually tell us the store AND aisle on where to find it? Can’t get any easier than that!

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