Pasta : A Quick And Easy Recipe

Written by Beth Marlin Lichter
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If you're looking for a quick and easy pasta recipe, to cook for your family, yet complex enough to serve at a dinner party, follow these simple instructions.

This recipe feeds four hungry people.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound of any type of dried pasta you prefer.
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, San Marzano if possible
4 tablespoons of the best extra virgin olive oil you've got
1 small yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
A pinch of sugar
1/4 cup of the best parmesan cheese available and more for garnishing
1/4 cup of fresh basil, finely chopped, plus 4 small sprigs for garnishing

In a large saute pan, wilt the onion and garlic in the olive oil, on a low heat. Pay close attention so the garlic does not turn brown and burn. This should take only about three minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes and sugar. At a low simmer, cook the mixture until it is no longer watery, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, follow instructions for cooking the pasta, in a large pot of boiling water. The package will tell you how long the pasta should cook. Test a piece when it gets close to being done. The pasta should not be hard, but don't allow it to get really soft and mushy. The term for perfectly cooked pasta is "al dente".

Turn off the heat under the sauce and add the drained pasta directly to the sauce. Mix it thoroughly. Add the parmesan cheese and basil and toss again.

Serve in large bowls with a sprinkling of extra parmesan cheese on top, and finish the dish with a sprig of fresh basil. Pass extra cheese around the table.

To make a lovely meal centered around this dish, serve a simple fresh green salad dressed with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar alongside. Place a cut up loaf of crusty Italian or French bread on the table as well, and there you have it, a quick and delicious gourmet meal your friends and family will applaud you for.


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