Cibo-Style Penne Al Telefono

Our Cibo Penne al Telefono hack makes a simple but hearty pasta dish, combining creamy tomato sauce with stretchy mozzarella cheese.
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4 servings
Wait Time
20 Mins
Active Time
25 Mins


Cibo's Penne al Telefono, or telephone-style penne, gets its name from the melted mozzarella in the dish. When stretched into long strands, the cheese resembles telephone wires.

This hack comes together with surprising ease. Cook the pasta, make the creamy tomato sauce and add shredded mozzarella—that's it. True to its name, each forkful is connected by a web of stringy cheese. Serve warm before it loses its stretch.


  • 200g uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Pasta Sauce

  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can (400g) crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup (118ml) water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ pc chicken broth cube
  • 1 cup (250ml) all-purpose cream
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese

In a pot of well-salted water, cook penne pasta according to package directions until quite al dente. Drain and toss cooked pasta with olive oil to keep the noodles separate. Set aside.


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring until tender and lightly colored, about 5 minutes.


Add crushed tomatoes and water to the pan. Season with sugar, pepper, salt, and chicken broth. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer until thick, about 20 minutes.


Add cream to the pasta sauce and let simmer for another minute. Transfer the cooked penne into the pan, stirring to coat the pasta.


Scatter grated mozzarella over the pasta and stir quickly, about 1-2 minutes. The heat should melt the cheese and string it out.


Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate or pasta bowl. Garnish with torn basil leaves and grated parmesan, if desired.


Convert this recipe into Cibo's Rigatoni Valentino by adding sautéed crabmeat and substituting penne with rigatoni pasta.

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