Dairy Farmers of Canada

Margherita Penne

Our dietitians' favourite

This recipe is taken from the 2015 Milk Calendar. This yummy pasta is based on the classic pizza margherita, which is topped with tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil – sometimes the simplest things taste the best.

  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cooking: 13 min
Yields 4 - 6 Servings
Margherita Penne


  • 12 oz (375 g) penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) Milk
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan
  • 12 1-inch (2.5 cm) mini Canadian Bocconcini
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
  • Canadian Parmesan for serving
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In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 11 min or until al dente, or according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, thyme, salt and hot pepper flakes. Cook 1 min. Sprinkle with flour; cook, whisking for 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Whisk for 3 to 5 min or until smooth and thickened. Stir in tomatoes and Parmesan.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour in sauce; toss, stirring 1 to 2 min over medium heat to coat pasta. Stir in Bocconcini, basil and salt to taste, if needed. Serve with grated Parmesan.


Bocconcini come in different sizes, so if you need to cut the balls, the pieces should be about ¾-inch (2 cm) in size.

Try cubes of Mozzarella instead of Bocconcini.

Add some of your favourite pizza toppings to the sauce, such as pepperoni, olives or sun-dried tomatoes. Or use your favourite short pasta in place of penne.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 422 Calories
Protein: 19 g
Carbohydrate: 57 g
Fat: 13 g
Fibre: 2.8 g
Sodium: 350 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 28 % / 307 mg
Folate: 77 %
Selenium: 90 %
Thiamin: 50 %
Vitamin B12: 39 %