Pasta with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Tomatoes

By Nick Stellino
A unique combination of pine nuts, raisins and tomatoes enhances the gusto of the Penne Rigate by adding a surprisingly sweet taste.


    • black pepper
    • chopped fresh basil
    • Chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • chopped fresh mint
    • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    • garlic cloves
    • Italian-style bread crumbs toasted
    • Lemon's grated zest
    • olive oil
    • Penne Rigate
    • Pine nuts
    • Raisins
    • red pepper flakes
    • Salt
    • tomatoes


    1. Cook the pasta according to directions.
    2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, raisins and pine nuts. Cook for 3 minutes.
    3. Add the diced tomatoes, parsley, basil, mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 more minutes.
    4. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Cook until pasta is coated with the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    5. Toss the pasta in the pan with the bread crumb mixture. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese and stir well.
    6. Chef's Tip: To make toasted breadcrumbs, heat up a non-stick pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs, reduce the heat to low and stir well for 1-2 minutes until the breadcrumbs start to brown. Pour the breadcrumbs in a plate to cool off, until ready to use.