Mexican Pasta Pizza

Mexican Pasta Pizza
The best combination of your week: pizza and pasta. What a unique dinner idea! This homemade Mexican pizza won't cost a pretty penny for you to make, but it does star penne pasta! It's a festive cultural fusion feast for the whole family. Pile on the toppings - fresh made pizza pasta sauce, onions, tomatoes, and Oaxaca cheese - and bake until golden brown.

Mexican Pasta Pizza

Ingredients
1 box of Barilla Penne pasta
1 pre-cooked pizza crust
15 pieces whole tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups of shredded queso Oaxaca
Jalapeño slices

Instructions
1. Pre-heat the oven 450°F.
2. Bring  4-6  quarts  of  water  to  a  boil.  Add  salt  to  taste. Add  pasta  to  boiling  water. For authentic al dente pasta boil for 11 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain well and set aside.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
4. Make a small X in the bottom of each tomato and plunge into the boiling water until the skins are slightly loosened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
5. Transfer to a bowl of ice water for 1 minute.
6. Peel with a paring knife, starting at the X. If using frozen tomatoes, run each under warm water and peel or rub the skin off. Thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave until mostly thawed. 
7. Chop the tomatoes, reserving any juice.
8. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until they start to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes.
9. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
10. Add the tomatoes (and any juice), basil, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
11. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens. Set aside.
12. Spread half of the sauce on top of the pre cooked pizza crust. Mix the other half of the sauce with the pasta and top the crust.
13. Add the shredded queso Oaxaca.
14. Place the pizza in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 8 -10 minutes.
15. Top cooked pizza with the jalapeno slices and serve.

Credit: Chef Santiago Gomez (https://www.instagram.com/chefsantiagogomez/)

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