Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Easy Weeknight Pasta

I enjoy cooking, but lately I'm finding that I only have about 30 mins to prepare meals in the evening. So I thought I'd document one of our easy weeknight meals. This is fast, easy and can be pulled together from just the pantry if necessary.

Pull out the ingredients:

2 1/2 cups dry pasta (any shape, though we've decided that we love rotini)
One can of diced tomatoes (S&W brand is highly recommended)
Extra virgin olive oil
5 or 6 cloves fresh garlic (freeze dried garlic from Penzey's is also awesome)
A bunch of fresh basil (or dry from the pantry)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Tonight I didn't have almost any fresh ingredients so I used just what I had in the pantry. I love that I can pull it together with stuff I always have in the cupboard.


Bring water to a boil, pour in pasta, set timer

Normally, while water is coming to a boil and pasta is starting to cook, you'd go ahead and mince up the garlic and a few basil stems. Today I'm using freeze dried garlic and dry basil, so instead I take the time to contemplate the beautiful calendar that my friend sent me for my birthday...

Now heat up a saute pan to medium heat, pour in two large tablespoons of oil. Once oil is hot, put in garlic, red pepper, basil stems (or a little bit of dry basil) and about a 1/2 tsp of salt. Swirl it around until fragrant.

Add tomatoes, more basil and crank the heat to high. Stir constantly until liquid cooks down a bit.

By now your pasta is probably done. Drain it and add it to your sauce.

Now for the best part. This can be skipped if you don't have it in the fridge, but I like to always have a little in there. Parmesan cheese! Make sure it is actually parmigiano reggiano and not the stuff in the green can. (ick). Pour it in, don't be shy. I put in at least a couple of handfuls. :)

Mix it in and you are done!

Slap it into a bowl (as you can see, this is a week night, I didn't have time to make the bowl pretty) and enjoy!

If you get a smile like this, you'll know you did it right.


Have a Happy Day!


  1. Looks quick and yummy! I see your son polished his plate.

  2. Double YUM, and super quick and easy! I'm going to have to try this. Thanks! We can all use a quick meal sometimes!

  3. Fun dinner, and
    Wow! that calendar is gorgeous!

  4. Green can...ewwwwwwwwww.
    Fabulous meatless dinner idea!

  5. Great recipe,and LOVE that it is meat-free... also love that calendar! HA! New follower from the EBT, come see me! http://orangiesattic.blogspot.com/

  6. Yum!! Like this recipe :)!! I found you on EBT! Lovely Blog!

    Come share it on my Linky Party: http://karinaschallenge.blogspot.com/2011/03/wednesday-challenge-linky-up-party_16.html