Thursday, March 5, 2009

Quickest Weeknight Tomato and Basil Pasta

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.

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

30 comments:

Rindy R said...

How easy is that! I do have about a half dozen cans of tomatoes looking me in the eye every time I set foot in the pantry - now I know how to use them up! Thanks for the easy meal - Who couldn't use more of those?

gigi said...

I know this is good stuff! I'm still in love with the creamy tomato soup recipe of yours. Just to, to good!
Carry On!

VeggieGirl said...

My oh my, what a productive March 4th you had!! Fabulous!!

Mmm, pasta perfection.

Ali said...

Again, loving the food storage foods. I have a ton of this stuff for soups but love the idea of branching out.

Catherine said...

We marched forth yesterday, too. We cleaned out the pantry and the refrigerator. Can't wait to try the pasta, it looks delicious and right up my alley!

deltawhiskey.us said...

I love these nights... one of our favorite dinners is simply pasta and no sauces... oh so comforting. I wish I could have you box that up and send it my way for dinner tonight. I think my honey's going to have to cook.

~Delta Whiskey (Cat)

trimarie said...

I've always thought that March was a busy month. I thought it was just the ghosts of spring cleaning lingering around my collective sub-conscience. Now I know it is baked right into the month's name. No more laziness, off I march to the market for the ingredients. Thanks for the kick in the right direction. and say hi to Tricia for me! -Trina

jenjen said...

Thanks Prudy! I need quick and easy recipes I can make while on the go. And my kids love pasta. I am sure this one will be a fav!

XOXOOX
Jen

Maria said...

A great go do meal for weeknights!!

Allie said...

Looks excellent I can't wait to try it!

Babs Renouf said...

I've shared your cowboy bean recipe with everyone I know. The pasta looks delicious, better than Italy!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm going to march forward and make this!

Cathy said...

Shoot -- I completely missed my chance to really March forth on March fourth, and I pretty much flitted the day away. Maybe I'll try again on March fourteenth. Meanwhile, I am certain to need as many quick, easy and delicious weeknight meals as you are willing to throw my way, Prudy. This one sounds like a great one! Oh, and to second Gigi, I am in love with your tomato soup. I love it creamy, and I love it not creamy. I don't know if I've ever been so in love with a soup. It is the real deal!

Sophie said...

Thanks for stopping by :). I love canned tomatoes, now more than ever; I go through almost 2-3 cans a week!

Michal said...

how is it that you can turn such simple ingredients into something so tantalizing?

Marjie said...

And you're not even telling us about sneaking in grammar lessons for Grammar Day! We did punctuation pretzels in honor of March forth.

Brian and Staci said...

I'm telling you what....YOU ROCK!!! I don't know if I've commented before...I don't know that I'm worthy :) I'm LOVIN' your recipes!!! Your Vegetarian Cowboy beans are in my crockpot as we speak! It's the perfect meal for our meatless Fridays during Lent!!! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!!!!

Prudy said...

Brian and Staci:
You made my day. That really keeps me chugging along!

Aggie said...

This to me is the perfect kind of pasta. I don't need a lot of sauce (though I love it)...those tomatoes and basil are just calling my name! Delicious!!

Coleen's Recipes said...

You said that you try to feed your family of 4 on $100 a week...are you successful? I couldn't feed just the 2 of us on $100 a week (of course husband is a big meat eater). I'm really impessed if you can be that frugal!!

Prudy said...

Coleen:
We can do it! My husband is not a huge meat eater so that does help and my children are still small (ages 7 and 5). First of all, I shop all big ticket items on sale-meat, cheese, ice cream, and cereal. I stock up on non perishables whenever they are at low prices. I make most foods from scratch. I try to really use what I have so it doesn't end up wasted-beleieve it or not, that really helps save too. My husband loves to take leftovers for lunch-he actually prefers it to going out. This week we spent $79 on groceries. Next week it might be $120, but I'm mindful of keeping my average around $100-especially since I make the claim. Best of luck to you!
OH and one more thing-we've got a mid size freezer in the garage so that I can really stockpile meats when they go on sale.

Janna said...

Just nominated you for a blog award. Check it out!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Prudy Prudy! Here I am in Portugal, God knows how many miles from you and was in a store cheching a food magazine (can't remember the name but I think Mario Batali was on the cover) and there was you!!! I mean a note about your blog! Soooooo cool! Go Prudy! Yummy pasta by the way!

Prudy said...

Clumbsy-thanks so much for mentioning the food magazine. I'm so glad they included Prudence Pennywise and that you got to see it too. I'm waiting to see you on the cover since you are so brilliant!

gigi said...

Just had to throw a little award your way over on my blog.
Thanks for always inspiring me.
Blessings!

Jeena said...

Delicious quick pasta dish Prudy. :-)

Jenni said...

Huge hit tonight at our house!! thanks!

Girl Japan said...

Past is not JUST pasta!!! You make it look chic, warm and inviting, the photos and composition are always stunning.

dfadf said...

The Tax Return Crack-Up<2>
I was not shocked because this was old news -- practically ancient, in fact. In R. Microsoft Office Emmett Tyrrell, Office 2010 Jr.'s most recent book The Clinton Microsoft Office 2010 Crack-
Up, page fiv Office 2007 e, paragraph two, we learn that in Bill Clinton's "first four years out of the White H Microsoft Office 2007 ouse, he ea Office 2010 key rned over Office 2010 download $43 million Office 2010 Professional after
expenses... Microsoft outlook "
The next Outlook 2010 page directs Windows 7 us to Appendix Microsoft outlook 2010 I, a list of the conniving couple's fees for speeches and book royalties and other income. The first

dfadf said...

The Tax Return Crack-Up<2>
I was not shocked because this was old news -- practically ancient, in fact. In R. Microsoft Office Emmett Tyrrell, Office 2010 Jr.'s most recent book The Clinton Microsoft Office 2010 Crack-
Up, page fiv Office 2007 e, paragraph two, we learn that in Bill Clinton's "first four years out of the White H Microsoft Office 2007 ouse, he ea Office 2010 key rned over Office 2010 download $43 million Office 2010 Professional after
expenses... Microsoft outlook "
The next Outlook 2010 page directs Windows 7 us to Appendix Microsoft outlook 2010 I, a list of the conniving couple's fees for speeches and book royalties and other income. The first