Savory Tomato Basil Penne Kugel

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I have always loved the comforting taste of the classic sweet noodle pudding of which kugel is characteristic. I created this dish to recreate it in a new dimension of a side dish which would complement any meal using some lighter ingredients. The use of tomatoes and their compliment, basil, adds a fresh taste and reflect the flavors of Italy that my husband and I love.

  • 12 ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • 1 - 16 oz. box Penne Pasta
  • 4 oz. Neufchatel softened
  • 2 Cloves large Garlic pressed
  • 1 1/2 cup Light Sour Cream
  • 1 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese low-fat
  • 4 whole Eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Asiago Cheese divided use
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil chopped
  • 1 cup Plum Tomatoes fresh, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Wheat Germ toasted
  • 2 tablespoon Pine Nuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil optional

Preparation

Heat oven to 350º F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, with electric mixer, beat neufchatel cheese until creamy. Mix in garlic and sour cream. Stir in cottage cheese and eggs until thoroughly mixed. Add 1/4 C. grated asiago cheese, black pepper, basil and tomatoes. Mix in pasta noodles, by hand. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in 350º oven for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together wheat germ, remaining 1/4 C. grated asiago cheese and pine nuts. Remove noodle kugel from oven and sprinkle wheat germ mixture over top. Return pan to oven and bake for additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting into squares. If desired, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.