Posts Tagged ‘tomato sauce’

Basil, Oregano, & Garlic: Flavors of My Winter “Pasta Primavera”

primavera

After eating one too many meals out this week, I spent the entire BU vs. UNH Men’s Ice Hockey game Saturday night (-we won, 4-2!) getting progressively hungrier and wondering about what I could make for dinner. The contents of my fridge really need to be emptied before I skip town for Thanksgiving. I thought about what I had – zucchinis, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic… Combining those ingredients with the Italian herbs I had in my spice cabinet, I put together my take on a pasta primavera … in the winter. (For those of you who don’t know, “primavera” means “spring” in Italian.)

Wintertime Pasta “Primavera”

  • 1 cup large shell pasta
  • Barilla Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped in long thin strips
  • 1 Zucchini, chopped in semicircles (width – a little thinner than a centimeter)
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped in thin semicircles
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • Fresh Basil, garnish, optional
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Oregano
  • Garlic Salt
  • Salt
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan until it is al-dente.
  2. Once the water for the pasta is boiling, cut the vegetables.
  3. Heat oil on a flat pan – enough for all of the vegetables – 3-4 tbsp, more if needed, then lower heat to medium
  4. Throw some garlic salt and basil on the oil as it heats up.  Once it starts to snap, add the onions and cook until they start to turn clear.
  5. Add more basil and some oregano as well as the bell peppers and mix thoroughly.
  6. Once the bell peppers begin to become tender, add the zucchini and some salt.  Cook 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and crushed pepper and let cook until the tomatoes start to soften and liquidate.
  8. Add the tomato sauce, mixing until all of the vegetables are covered lightly. Let simmer until sauce is thoroughly heated or vegetables fully cooked.
  9. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the vegetables. Toss together, turn off flame.  Let cool slightly, garnish with fresh basil, then serve.

This made about 2-3 servings, which was great because now I have leftovers for today. Yay!

  • What about you? What vegetables do you include in pasta dishes?
  • What spices do you use for Italian food?
  • What is your favorite type of tomato sauce? Or, do you like to make your own?
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Simply Pasta

Sometimes, the simplest dishes, spiced just right, can make the perfect meal.

Last night, I was rushing to finish making and eating dinner before going to see Amanda Palmer’s Cabaret at the Oberon Theater in Harvard Square.  I decided to make the simplest hot meal I could think of, pasta with tomato sauce.  I’ll admit, I buy pasta sauce in the bottle, mostly because this dish is something I eat when I have little time to cook (and thus  little time to make sauce).

I boiled 2 servings of farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, until it was cooked al-dente (about 10 minutes) and strained it.  Leaving my gas stove on, but turning the heat down to low, I added Barilla Tomato & Basil sauce to the pasta and then began spicing it up.  I threw in a generous amount of basil, oregano, garlic salt, crushed red pepper and ground black pepper, until the aroma was distinct but not overpowering.

I decided to make a side for my pasta dish, so I made a quick version of garlic bread. In a toaster oven, I toasted two slices of whole wheat bread, and buttered them.  I topped the bread slices with garlic salt, crushed red pepper, basil and parmesan & romano cheese. Easily made, delicious garlic bread.

The entire meal took 20-25 minutes to prepare, satisfied my desire for a home-cooked hot meal, and fit within the time constraints of my evening.

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