Yesterday was March Fourth. March Fourth. There's something about the sound of March Fourth that makes you want to March Forth and get something done. Like write a letter to your old friend Tricia Shaw, or clean out the toy closet, or study your new Humanities textbook, or run a few miles on the treadmill, or teach a history lesson on Flanders Field, or paint your toenails, or make a quick and healthy pasta dinner for your family. And because it was March Fourth yesterday, I did March Forth and do all of the above things. But now that it's March Fifth, I think I'll take it easy again. March Fourth, I wish you would come more often. I need you at least once a week.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Here's my quickest weeknight tomato and basil pasta. It takes about 15 minutes, from start to finish, plus a little time to boil some water, if you count that. (Add some grilled sausages or chicken on the side for a heartier offering.) If you've got a couple of cans of tomatoes and a box of pasta, then March Forth and make some dinner.
Money Saving Tips:
I hope you've got lots of pasta and canned tomatoes as part of your food storage and pantry supplies. I buy canned tomatoes when they go on sale for about 50 cents a can, especially if you can get a nice brand like S and W or Hunts. Pasta can be purchased for about $1 a lb. You'll have to pay a little extra for the whole grain pasta, but I think it's worth it in the long run for your overall health.
Quickest Weeknight Tomato and Basil Pasta
Estimated Cost: $3.50
1/2 lb. whole grain angel hair pasta (I like Barilla)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon dried or 1/2 chopped cup fresh basil
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (plus more for passing)
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until dente. Drain pasta in colander and let it rest there for now. To the same cooking pot, add butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add dried basil (add fresh basil at the end), crushed red pepper flakes, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes with juices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. (Add fresh basil now if using.) Add pasta back to pot and toss to coat. Stir in parmesan. Pass more parmesan at the table.
Up Next: Cranberry-Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies