I am the type of cook who rarely follows a recipe and if I do, I usually change it quite a bit. I especially love creating meals from scratch simply based on ideas I have in my head. Usually, I have a good sense of what flavor combinations work well together and my creations turn out pretty well. I have had some major, epic fails in my cooking career, but thankfully those are few and far between.
What I made the other night for our dinner, however, did NOT fall into the FAIL category. So I feel safe sharing it with you here. While I do promise the recipes I post here will be flavorful and healthy, I don’t promise they will be pretty. Case in point:
Looking at that photo now, I realize I have either a smudge on my lens or a smudge on my computer screen. Oops!
Penne Pasta with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 medium summer squash, cubed
1 large tomato, diced
3 T extra-virgin olive oil (or expeller pressed coconut oil)
can of tomato paste
1 C heavy cream (note: I did not measure; this is an estimation, so you may use more or less depending on how you like your sauce. Also, you could substitute fat-free half and half if you would like.)
1/2 C parmesan cheese
several fresh basil leaves
salt, pepper, and desired spices to taste (again, I never measure, I added the traditional italian spices)
I box whole wheat penne pasta (any pasta of your choice could work well here.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
In a separate pot, saute veggies and garlic in olive oil until tender but still slightly firm. Add tomato paste and whisk in cream. Add cheese and spices and stir. Finally, add basil leaves. Simmer sauce for a few minutes to heat through.
Pour sauce over pasta and combine. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!
In light of our current situation with my husband being out-of-work, we make a concerted effort to pinch pennies wherever possible. This meal is a great way to do that as it goes far (serves 8), utilizes veggies fresh from the garden and is vegetarian. Meat is expensive-especially quality meat!
What is your favorite way to use up those fresh veggies? Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of cook, or a by-the-book kind of cook? Did you know I added a new page for recipes in the sidebar?