Presto Pasta

A quick pasta for Monday night

Our dinners the past three nights wouldn’t go over well with the Paleofolks. Pasta and pasta and more pasta.

My excuse? The pantry is bare. We made our Easter trek to just outside of Hermann, MO where my mother-in-law has a house. Coloring eggs, egg hunts and the sacred Easter lasagna are standard out there. Another standard is coming home on Sunday night to a sparse pantry and funky smelling fridge. We made a stop at Trader Joe’s in St. Louis (Do you know Aldi owns Trader Joe’s? I kid you not!) and picked up a few things, but I have not been on a full-scale, farmers market + four store shopping trip yet.

This pasta doesn’t taste like a “cupboards are bare” type of dinner though . . . creamy, spicy, hardy and quick. Presto Pasta!

Farfalle with “Sausage,” Tomatoes and Cream

adapted from Epicurious

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion, about 1 small

2 Trader Joe’s Sausage-less Sausage (The original recipe calls for 1 lb Italian sausage. You can also omit.)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted)

1/4 cup whipping cream (The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup. I have found that 1/4 is plenty.)

1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)

1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion with a pinch of salt and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add crumbled “sausage” and sauté until lightly browned. Add garlic and crushed red pepper cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Dump (not the most eloquent word, but I was getting tired of using ‘add’) in tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sausage mixture thickens, 3 minutes or more. I let it simmer for about 1/2 an hour while I worked on the rest of the meal. Season to taste with salt and pepper before adding the pasta. Make sure it is well seasoned because you are adding 1 lb of pasta that is dying for some flavor.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot. Add “sausage” – tomato – cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer pasta to serving dish. Sprinkle with basil. Serve, passing cheese separately.

Ratings:

Me:    A

Scott: A

Luca:  A

Alia: A

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