Today, I bring you one of my favorite old-time recipes from when I first started learning how to cook: fresh tomato and garlic penne.
When I first started learning how to cook, I was also sort of discovering that I liked pasta. Weird, I know, right? Like, who am I? I don’t even know sometimes. But yeah, I first fell in love with alfredo sauce and after making that a gajillion times, my boyfriend (now husband) urged me to make some pasta with red sauce. He is partial to red sauces while I could eat any kind of creamy, cheesy, saucy pasta by the bucketful and never really get full. So we tried some of those jarred sauces, and they aren’t terrible, but whenever / however I stumbled across this recipe, I knew immediately he would like it.
So we made it over the weekend for the first time in, oh, like, 15 years? 😂 I swear, I’m not reaching that far back for recipes because I’m running out of content or ideas. In fact, I’m reaching that far back because I’m trying to expand my repertoire of vegetarian recipes, and found this old gem as a result of minimalizing one of my recipe binders last month. It was one of those, “OH! THIS recipe! Why did we ever stop making this?!” moments.
And when I took my first bite, I was instantly transported back to my little apartment in Spokane, Washington, where I have a vision of myself wearing khaki overalls (lol whut), sitting at our dining room table that was practically in the family room, watching Jeopardy, sprinkling Parmesan cheese over top of hot penne pasta graced with the sweetest Roma tomatoes, that fresh basil wafting up into my nostrils, and, finally, shoveling forkfuls of this pasta into my mouth. It wasn’t a bad recipe then, and it’s not a bad recipe now. And it’s a GREAT recipe to make right now, at the height of fresh tomato season.
I hope you enjoy it!
2 1/2 cups uncooked penne rigate pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
1. Cook pasta as directed on package and drain.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic in oil for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Stir in chopped tomatoes. Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until tomatoes start to break down and sauce thickens slightly. Reduce heat to low, and stir in basil, salt, and pepper to taste.
3. Toss tomato sauce with cooked pasta. Sprinkle with additional fresh basil and Parmesan cheese, if desired.