Cooking Penne Pasta made easy with these tips

Are you tired of your penne pasta turning out either too mushy or too hard? As an Italian saying goes, “pasta al dente,” which means pasta cooked to the perfect texture. Cooking penne pasta doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With these easy tips, you can cook your pasta to perfection every time. Say goodbye to overcooked or undercooked pasta and impress your friends and family with your cooking skills.

Cooking Penne Pasta made easy with these tips | Eat Urban Garden
Cooking Penne Pasta made easy with these tips

What is Penne Pasta

Penne pasta is a type of tube-shaped pasta that is cylindrical in shape. The word ‘penne’ actually means ‘quills’ in Italian, which is a fitting name for this pasta as it is often cut in diagonal lengths to resemble quills.

What is it made of?

Penne pasta is typically made from durum wheat flour, though sometimes it can be made with other types of flour like whole wheat or rice flour. The durum wheat is mixing with water to create dough which can be shaped into the desired penne form. The resulting pasta is usually a light yellow color.

The History of Penne Pasta

The history of penne pasta can be traced back to the Campania region of Italy. The pasta was first created to pair perfectly with hearty meat-based sauces as the hollow center of penne pasta makes it easy to capture and hold onto the sauce. It is now one of the most popular pasta shapes in the world and is enjoyed in many different ways.

What are the Different Types of Penne Pasta

Penne pasta is a classic Italian dish that is perfect for a hearty and filling meal. However, did you know that there are different types of penne pasta? Each type of penne pasta has a unique shape and texture that works well with certain types of sauces. Here are some of the types of penne pasta you should know:

1. Penne Rigate

Penne rigate is the most common type of penne pasta that you’ll find in the grocery store. It has a ridged surface that helps to hold the sauce, making it perfect for bold and chunky sauces. The ridges also give the pasta a slightly chewy texture, which adds to its appeal. Penne rigate can be served with a variety of sauces, including tomato-based sauces and meat sauces.

2. Penne Lisce

Penne lisce is a smooth version of penne pasta. It doesn’t have any ridges, and it has a more delicate texture compared to penne rigate. This type of penne pasta works well with lighter sauces, such as olive oil and garlic or a simple tomato sauce.

  • Fun fact: The word “lisce” means smooth in Italian

3. Penne Ziti

Penne ziti is a larger version of penne pasta. It has a wider diameter than regular penne, which makes it perfect for stuffing and baking. It works well with thick, hearty sauces or cream-based sauces, such as Alfredo sauce.

Tip: Mix penne ziti with ground beef and tomato sauce, then bake it with mozzarella cheese for a delicious penne pasta bake.

What Equipment Do You Need to Cook Penne Pasta

Cooking Penne Pasta is easy, it doesn’t take much skill, but it does require some basic equipment. Here are some essential pieces of equipment you need to cook Penne Pasta.


You will need a large pot to cook the Penne Pasta. The pot must be large enough to hold the pasta without any spillage. A 4-6 quart pot is ideal for cooking Penne Pasta for 1-4 people.


You will need plenty of water to cook Penne Pasta. Use a ratio of 4-6 quarts of water per pound of pasta. Salt the water generously once it comes to a boil.


A colander is necessary to drain the water from the Penne Pasta. Make sure the colander is large enough to hold the pasta you are cooking.

What Ingredients Can You Add to Penne Pasta

Penne Pasta is a staple household dish that can be a pleasing addition to anyone’s weekly recipe rotation. One of the best things about Penne Pasta meals is that you can get creative with the ingredients you choose. Whether you like your pasta with meat, veggies or cheese, anything goes. Here are some ingredients you can add to your Penne Pasta recipe to mix things up:

1. Vegetables

One of the simplest and healthiest ways to add creativity and color to your Penne Pasta is by adding veggies. Vegetables are versatile and add different textures and flavors to your dishes. Here are some vegetables that can be used:

  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach

2. Meats

Meat adds protein to your Penne Pasta, making it a more filling meal. Adding different meats to your pasta dishes is a fantastic way to enrich the flavor and give it a more satisfying and hearty taste. Here are some meats that you can use:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Shrimp
  • Bacon
  • Sausages

3. Cheeses

Who doesn’t love cheese? Cheese is a perfect addition to any pasta dish, and there are several options available to add deliciousness to your Penne Pasta. Here are some cheeses that you can use in your Penne Pasta:

  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Feta Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese

4. Sauces

What is a pasta dish without a tasty sauce? Adding a flavorful sauce to your Penne Pasta can make a world of difference to the dish’s richness and taste. Here are some sauce ideas:

Type of Sauce Description
Tomato-based Tomato-based sauces add a juicy and sweet flavor to your pasta dishes. Perfect for a classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe.
Cream-based Cream-based sauces are very indulgent and bring a rich, buttery taste to your pasta dish.
Pesto Pesto sauce is a great choice for those who want a fresher, lighter taste. It’s made with lots of fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts.
Alfredo Alfredo sauce is thick, creamy, and indulgent, perfect for those who want to add an extra oomph to their Penne Pasta dish.

Adding different ingredients can change your Penne Pasta dish from ordinary to extraordinary. Incorporating any of these ingredients can make discussing food easy during mealtimes and have everyone wanting more. Enjoy your Penne Pasta with your creative twists.

What are the Best Sauces to Serve with Penne Pasta

When it comes to pasta dishes, picking the right sauce can make all the difference in the world. The Penne Pasta is one of the most beloved types of pasta and there are a variety of sauces that complement its unique shape. Here are some of the best sauces to serve with Penne Pasta:

1. Marinara Sauce

The classic marinara sauce is a popular choice for Penne Pasta. It’s a simple tomato-based sauce that is easy to make and works well with the flavors of the pasta. It’s made with tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs like oregano and basil. Marinara sauce goes well with Penne Pasta because the shape of the pasta allows the sauce to cling to it easily.

2. Alfredo Sauce

Another popular sauce that pairs well with Penne Pasta is Alfredo Sauce. It’s a creamy sauce made with butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. Alfredo sauce is a perfect option for those who want something richer than the classic marinara sauce. The creamy texture of the sauce covers every inch of Penne Pasta to make every bite flavorful.

3. Arrabbiata Sauce

Arrabbiata is a spicy tomato sauce that creates a fiery and zesty flavor. It’s made with garlic, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes giving it a little bit of heat. This sauce is one of the perfect options for people who like their pasta with a little edge. The Arrabbiata sauce goes very well with Penne Pasta since the unique shape holds the sauce within each bite.

4. Pesto Sauce

Pesto sauce is another popular option for Penne Pasta. It’s made with fresh ingredients like basil, garlic, and pine nuts, and mixed with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The sauce is flavorful and provides a slightly different taste to Penne Pasta compared to tomato-based sauces. The green color of the Pesto sauce along with Penne Pasta creates an excellent combination of color and taste.

5. Carbonara Sauce

Carbonara sauce is made with eggs, bacon, and Parmesan cheese that creates a creamy sauce. This classic sauce from Rome is perfect for Penne Pasta as its shape allows it to hold and enhance carbonara sauce easily, this results in every bite having a perfect balance of flavor.

What are Some Tips for Cooking Perfect Penne Pasta Every Time?

If you’re a pasta lover, you know how important it is to cook your pasta perfectly. Penne pasta, in particular, is a favorite for many because of its unique shape that captures sauces and flavors beautifully. However, cooking penne pasta perfectly can be a bit of a challenge. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get perfect penne pasta every time.

Timing is Everything

The first step to cooking perfect penne pasta is timing. You want your pasta to be cooked al dente, which means it should be slightly firm to the bite. Overcooked pasta becomes mushy and unpleasant to eat, while undercooked pasta can be tough and chewy.

  • Follow the package instructions: Different brands of penne pasta may require different cooking times, so be sure to check the package for the recommended cooking time.
  • Test often: Start testing the pasta a few minutes before the package’s cooking time is up to make sure you don’t overcook it. To test, remove a piece of pasta from the pot and taste it. If it’s slightly firm to the bite, it’s done!

Water Ratio Matters

The second step to cooking perfect penne pasta is getting the water ratio right. You want to use enough water so that the pasta has enough room to cook and doesn’t stick together. But, you don’t want to use too much, or your pasta will be waterlogged.

  • Use a large pot: Use a large pot to ensure there’s enough water for the pasta to move around and cook evenly.
  • The rule of thumb: A good rule of thumb is to use 4-6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
  • Add salt: Add a generous amount of salt to the water, which will help flavor the pasta.

The Cooking Process

The third step to cooking perfect penne pasta is the cooking process itself. There are a few things you can do to make sure your pasta cooks evenly and doesn’t stick together.

  • Stir occasionally: Stir the pasta occasionally while it’s cooking to prevent it from sticking together.
  • Don’t add oil: Don’t add oil to the pot, as it can create a film on the pasta that will prevent sauce from sticking to it.
  • Save some pasta water: Before you drain the pasta, save a cup of the pasta cooking water. It can be used to thicken sauces or loosen them up if they’re too thick.

Rinsing and Serving

The final step to cooking perfect penne pasta is how you rinse and serve it. Following these tips will ensure your pasta is flavorful and the perfect texture.

  • Rinse or don’t rinse: Rinsing pasta removes starch and can cool the pasta down too quickly. However, some dishes require rinsed pasta to prevent clumping. Consider your recipe when deciding whether to rinse or not.
  • Serve immediately: Serve the pasta immediately after draining. If you wait too long, the pasta can dry out and become sticky.
  • Add some sauce: Mix the pasta with a flavorful sauce or oil to finish the dish off.

Thank You for Reading Our Tips on Cooking Penne Pasta

We hope that our tips have helped you make your next penne pasta dish even tastier! Remember to always use quality ingredients and to cook your pasta al dente to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. With these tips, making penne pasta will be an easy and enjoyable experience. Don’t forget to check back for more recipe ideas and cooking tips!

Cooking Penne Pasta made easy with these tips

Learn how to cook Penne Pasta with ease by following these tips. Achieve the perfect texture and flavor for your next pasta dish with these simple steps.

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water for flavor.
  2. Add 1 pound of penne pasta to the boiling water, stirring occasionally. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
  3. In a separate skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add 4 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add 1 can of crushed tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Simmer the sauce for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Add 1/4 cup of chopped basil leaves and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Toss again until the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce and the cheese has melted.
  5. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and basil leaves. Serve hot and enjoy!
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