Ordinarily, I am not a fan of Mr. Bittman’s work because I feel that many of the recipes published in his former column tend to sacrifice basic culinary principles in order to fit three criteria: minimal time, minimal technique and/or minimal ingredients. While the recipes may work on occasion, very often they read as if they don’t.
That being said, occasionally he does come up with concepts worth trying. This is one of them.
A word of caution: Though the picture above shows Barilla penne (made from semolina and durum wheat flour), it may be possible to make this dish using gluten-free pasta without much sacrifice in flavor.