Thursday, August 11, 2011

Recipe: Quick and Easy Garden Tomato Pasta

Am I alone in this, or do you have tomatoes coming out of your ears?

This is the first year I've successfully grown a garden (thanks mainly to my boyfriend remembering to water the plants - I've often said that if my cats didn't meow, I might forget to feed them) and I'm so excited to be able to walk outside to pick fresh vegetables and herbs.  We grew different varieties of tomatoes, including a fleshy yellow type.  It's nearly seedless and, to be honest, a little weird looking.  It also has a milder taste than most other tomatoes, but I'm still a fan.  I eat tomatoes the way other people eat apples, and I could eat a bushel of them in one sitting if given the chance.  And I might need to since all of our tomatoes seem to be ripening at once.

Which is why I decided to get creative the other night and make a pasta dish with as many random items as I could find.  I call it "quick and easy garden tomato pasta."  And like many of my other homespun recipes, nothing is exact.  Use your best judgement.

  • Tomatoes - as many as you can handle - seeded and chopped into small pieces - no need to get fancy chopping, though, because they boil down
  • Finely chopped garlic - again, use your judgement - we love garlic and could eat whole cloves, but not everyone loves garlic as much as we do
  • Fresh basil - I used a handful of leaves sliced into ribbons
  • 2+ tablespoons of red cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (I used dried)
  • garlic salt - to taste
  • 1 packet Stevia in the raw (optional)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese - could be optional - I liked the sauce without it
  • 1 cup pasta - any shape
  • Red pepper flakes -just a dash - adds a bit of a kick
1. Prepare pasta following directions on package.  Set aside.
2. Combine olive oil, garlic, basil, and tomatoes in a medium to large sauce pan.  Heat on high.
3. Add salt, wine, Stevia, parsley, and red pepper flakes to tomato mixture and stir frequently.  There will be a lot of liquid that needs to boil down.  Depending on your sauce preference, you can cook the tomato mixture for a short amount of time or until pretty much all of the liquid is gone.  I like my sauce to be a little chunkier and saucier, so I boil almost all of the liquid off.
4. Add cooked noodles and stir into sauce until all noodles are coated.
5. Add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and stir into the mix until melted.
6. Serve and enjoy!  You can also top with another sprinkling of cheese if that's your fancy.

Serves 2-4.
My boyfriend generally hates tomatoes but really liked this pasta, so I consider this recipe to be a "win."  It's really easy to throw together and cook on a weeknight.  It's pretty low calorie but filling, too. 

How are you using up the tomatoes from your garden? Do you have any favorite tomato based recipes?

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