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National Pasta Day

Hundreds of years of Italian tradition are to be celebrated today... It's National Pasta Day!

Pasta was brought to America by early Spanish settlers, but wasn’t popular until Thomas Jefferson made a trip to Paris and fell in love with macaroni (which, at the time, referred to any pasta shape). Years later, a large group of Italian immigrants moved from Italy to America, and thus pasta became a staple and an obtainable meal in the United States!

When it comes to creating a delicious pasta dish, there's more to it than just a pot of boiling water, pasta, and sauce. When you pay attention to the specific types of olive oil, sauces, and cheeses you incorporate into your pasta dish, you can create a magnificent meal!

Let's get into a delicious recipe featuring a couple of my favorite pasta products!

Through Baker by Nature's website, I found a mouthwatering recipe for fresh tomato basil penne alla vodka.

For this recipe, I plan to use Mantova Olive Oil. I'm a big basil lover, so my go-to from their variety of olive oils is the Mantova Grand'Aroma Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil! It has a smooth flavor profile (so it won't overwhelm the pasta dish) with a delicate, mellow body and a bright, basil flavor.

Made in Italy, 100% natural, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil that will deliciously brighten this pasta dish!

Another amazing product I want to mention for this recipe is the award-winning Sartori Parmesan Cheese. Their parmesan brings the sweet, mellow, and nutty flavors that this Penne Vodka dish deserves!


- 12 ounces penne pasta

- 8 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

(Or measure to your heart's desire!)

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

- 4 pints cherry tomatoes (any large cherry tomatoes should be cut in half)

- 1/2cup vodka (2/3 cup for a more vodka dominated sauce)

- 3/4 cup of heavy cream

- 1 cup of fresh basil, chopped


Place large pot of boiling water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add in a dash of salt, then add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until al dente. Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain the penne and place into a bowl until needed.

In the meantime, heat Mantova Basil Oil in a 12" skillet or large saucepan over medium-heat. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Then stir in the salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and sugar, and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add in the tomatoes and stir to coat. Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes burst and release their juices to form a sauce, about 10 t0 12 minutes. If any tomatoes don't burst, lightly press on the with a spoon to help them along.

Remove pan from heat, and stir in the vodka. Then stir in the heavy cream. Return to stovetop and stir in the basil.

Toss pasta with with tomato sauce and let simmer for 2 minutes. Then remove from heat and serve warm, with grated Sartori Parmesan cheese.

Happy National Pasta Day!


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