Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cheesecake factory tomato basil past
Cheesecake factory tomato basil pasta

This is one of my favorite dishes from The Cheesecake Factory, so when a friend gave me a bundle of fresh basil from her garden, I knew this tomato basil pasta is what I wanted to make with it!  The sauce turned out really yummy but I wish I would have had some chicken to grill with it to put on top! I also used whole wheat penne pasta (gotta try to be healthy sometimes, right?)--if you don't like the taste of whole wheat pasta, then definitely stick to just normal penne!

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Tomato Basil Pasta
1 box penne pasta (around 13 ounzes), cooked to preference (I like mine a little softer)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bushel fresh basil, finely chopped (you could substitute dried basil...)
tomatoes, diced (I used a variety: I had about five smaller tomatoes from my garden that I chopped up,      then I added a can of stewed tomatoes to augment it a little bit...I love tomato so if I had had more I      probably would have put even a few more in there!)
1 can tomato sauce
garlic salt
a handful of Pepperjack cheese (I only had sliced cheese, so I tore up three slices)
Mozzarella cheese balls (you can buy these, or you can do what I did and just slice up a couple of              Mozzarella cheese sticks--it worked out just fine!)

Sautee the garlic on medium heat for a couple minutes (don't let it brown), and then add in the basil and the tomatoes.  Heat until bubbling and then add the tomato sauce and returning to bubbling.  Sprinkle with garlic salt (to taste) and add in the pepperjack cheese--stir until melted.  Lower the heat, add the mozzarella balls, cover and allow to heat through.  Just before serving, toss into your pasta (I sprayed my pasta with olive oil first just to moisten it a little since I had left it straining too long).  Optional: serve with grilled chicken.   Enjoy!
Cheesecake factory tomato basil past

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