Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick Tomato Basil Pasta

The hot weather is here, and I am so excited. I cannot even tell you how much I adore the sunshine, the long hot days and even the debating whether it is too hot, or not hot enough, to turn on the AC. I know, but I hold off as long as it's comfortable to sleep. The hot days I can deal with, the hot nights...not so much.

Not sure if you know, we moved to a golf course community last year. It is wonderful, great neighbours, amazing house, great view over hole #3. What more could a girl ask for? Except the thought that I can't plant vegetables in the back yard anymore, I am just too nervous about all the "extras" the golf course may add to the greens to keep them that perfect colour all year long. I don't necessarily want to be eating anything that I shouldn't, know what I mean?

So, it's all container gardening from here on in, which isn't so bad as I was browsing the garden centre at Costco last week and I came across this gorgeous pot filled with oh-so-healthy looking herbs and I couldn't walk away. There is oodles of parsley, rosemary (my favourite), sage, basil and thyme as well as pansies, which I will use to throw in salads for colour, and garnish pretty desserts.

My first creation was the easy peasy pasta dish, basically some fresh pasta with sauteed Ontario asparagus and red peppers, a pinch of hot pepper flakes for punch and basic tomato sauce, which I make in big batches and then freeze in portions big enough for one meal. Toss in some fresh basil and you have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes - and who doesn't love that?

Tomato Basil Pasta
Makes enough for 4 serves

1lb fresh pasta, any shape
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths
1/2 red pepper, chopped
pinch red pepper flakes, optional
2 cups tomato sauce, home made or bottled
handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
cracked black pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large pan. Add asparagus and peppers and cook quickly over med-high heat, almost a stir-fry. When asparagus is bright green, but still crisp, add red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds more. Add tomato sauce and stir until bubbling.

Stir through cooked and drained pasta (while pasta is still hot), and stir over heat until sauce is bubbling. Off heat, stir through chopped basil and black pepper. 

Serve immediately.


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