French Fridays with Dorie: Dressy Penne Pasta

Dressy Penne Pasta

It’s the first French Friday of 2014!  Mon Dieu, where does time go?

Today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is a Dressy Pasta Risotto, a take on macaroni and cheese where small-shaped pasta is cooked with chicken stock and aromatics and finished with a cream and Parmesan and Mascarpone cheeses.  Instead of a side dish, I prepared two main dish servings of dressy penne pasta with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and a dash of truffle oil.  We eat a lot of pasta on weeknights and this technique creates a lot of depth in the taste.  That is no small feat when cooking whole wheat pasta.

My main worry going into this recipe was the amount of liquid and time it would take to cook the heartier whole-wheat pasta I chose.  It didn’t make much difference – I rounded up the total liquid to four cups of stock and cooked the pasta for almost thirty minutes.

Dressy Penne Pasta
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Dressy Penne Pasta
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
  1. In a large saucepan or deep skillet, melt the butter together with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and shallots and cook until softened and lightly colored, about ten minutes. Add the sundries tomatoes, mushrooms and herbs and stir around until fragrant, about three more minutes.
  2. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring up to a boil. Pour in the pasta and reduce the heat to medium/medium low. Let the penne cook in the simmering stock for at least 25 minutes or until al dente. There should be at least a 1/4 inch of stock left in the pan.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, add the cream and toss the cheese. Coat the penne well, and let it cook for five more minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately and drizzle with truffle oil.

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where we work our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  My dressy penne pasta is a version of this week’s recipe, Dressy Pasta Risotto.  To see how the rest of the group interpreted this easy recipe, click here.

Tags: , , ,


Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

31 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Dressy Penne Pasta”

  1. January 3, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    What yummy additions, Adriana! And the whole wheat pasta lessens the guilt of this amazing mac and cheese…great idea! Happy New Year, my friend! xo

    • January 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      I love whole wheat pasta! Doesn’t help to have that guilt appeaser on my side. 🙂

  2. January 3, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    I love the addition of mushrooms…I wish I had some in the house when I was making this! Yours looks heavenly, Adriana! Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year, my friend…hugs!

    • January 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      Thank you FFwD Mom! I really wanted to add veggies or something with a ‘meaty’ texture since it was our dinner last night. Take care and bundle up.

  3. January 3, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Love your take on this. Looks FAB!

  4. January 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    I love the idea of adding mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. I think this was a terrific recipe-very tasty!

  5. January 3, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    LOL love the video – look at how high tech you are getting now! 🙂 Your pasta looks so fancy and delicious!

    • January 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

      I’ve been eyeing cheap tripods for my cell phone. Darn you, Instagram and Vine. 🙂

  6. January 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    I haven’t had much success with whole wheat pasta. I find it gets gooey. Maybe I over cook it? I use Barilla’s multi-grain it stays firm and is healthier than regular pasta. I love it with mushrooms in it and plan on adding my truffle oil the next time I make it. Glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year.

    • January 4, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      I think I’m used to it by now, or otherwise do not detect the gooeyness. My friend is convincing me to try quinoa pastas and I’m intrigued.

  7. January 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    That looks fantastic and I love the addition of the mushrooms. We truly enjoyed this and
    will be making it again. Happy New Year to you both.

  8. January 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Great additions! I will have to try this with whole wheat pasta. Happy New Year!

  9. January 3, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    Oh, what nice additions! I love the idea of adding mushrooms – sounds like a winning dish!

  10. January 3, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Love the addition of the mushrooms:) Great idea. Happy New Year!

  11. January 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    I like the idea of using wheat pasta to make this a healthier dish. It looks fabulous.

  12. January 3, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    I love what you did with this pasta. I’m going to try adding sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms next time I make this, and maybe some shredded chicken like Ei did. A one-pot meal! Happy New Year, Adriana!!!!!

    • January 6, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      Happy New Year to you too, Betsy! And what a trooper for running a 5K in the middle of the winter!

  13. January 4, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Happy new year! I love whole wheat pasta so I’m happy to hear that it works in this dish. Nice to balance out the cream just a little:-)

  14. January 4, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    My friend Rebeca, a very busy mom, did a version of this dish but in the rice cooker. She said the pasta turned out a little mushy, but the sauce was unbelievable. I have to test out her method.

  15. January 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Great idea with the whole wheat pasta. The mushrooms look wonderful too! I kept mine a bit closer (this time) to the original, with just a little bit of wine and truffle salt. But I think this was a great concept all the way around. Happy New Year!!

  16. January 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    Happy New Year! This looks great with mushrooms 🙂

  17. January 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    I used rice pasta and it turned out great! Sun-dried tomatoes and oregano it is so Mediterranean I love it!

  18. January 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    Ha! I used whole wheat penne pasta too. 🙂

  19. January 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    Oh yum. Seriously, great additions ! I have not played around with whole wheat pasta but who knows what 2014 will bring 🙂 And quinoa pasta- wow- had not even heard of it. I know my guys would love the sun dried tomato, mushroom version and since they ended up finishing this as simple full bowls of the stuff (instead of the side dish to the crown roast of pork I prepared……) I like the idea of additions. Hope you are having a spectacular 2014- even if neither of us got that HGTV dream home 🙂 I was watching the special and figured I would have know if I won it but had my fingers crossed I was going to see you on TV. Next time !!

    • January 6, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      We are already keeping our fingers crossed for the Lake Tahoe dream home! LOL! That Boston apartment would have been perfect, though.

  20. January 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    Oooo la la. Fancy indeed 🙂
    If I had mushrooms in the house when I made this, that totally would have happened. Looks great!

  21. January 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    I like the idea of adding the mushrooms, etc.

  22. January 6, 2014 at 1:32 am #

    You are my culinary twin on this one. It was so calling out for mushrooms and tomatoes, wasn’t it?

    • January 6, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      Trev’s culinary
      doppelgängler of the week?
      Oh, high fives galore!

  23. January 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Looks delicious! I love how this dish is easy enough to be a weeknight meal, but fancy enough for a special meal.

  24. January 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    I’m so glad to know that whole wheat pasta worked in this one. Every time I use it my husband complains, but I’m determined to keep trying. This dish was flavorful enough that I think he might like it.

Leave a Reply