Friday, April 8, 2011

Farfalle with tomatoes, basil, artichokes and fresh mozzarella

If you are reading this, I assume you are aware that the Olive Garden is NOT a real venue for Italian cuisine and you will stop insulting me. Furthermore, let it be known that if you ask me to go there, I will not as I dislike bologna parmesan.

That being said, this is a quick, throw it together meal....if you're me and you have these things in the house. So, if not, make a list and then have them for a night when you need a quick fix! So, for the sauce you need to heat some olive oil (let's say 1/4 cup) and garlic over medium heat. When that starts to pop, add a can of tomato paste, a can of diced tomatoes (pre-seasoned with basil & oregano are best) and a can/jar of artichoke hearts. Turn the heat down and then add a little more garlic, some crushed red pepper, more oregano (I do this all by eye, so I apologize there are no exact measurements!). You can also add some water, maybe 1/4 cup or even 1/3 cup if you want to thin the sauce out. Cover and let simmer.

For the pasta I used farfalle, but any pasta will do. So cook that and if I need to tell you me offline! Anyway, when the pasta is done, remove the sauce from the heat. Place the pasta in a bowl, cover with sauce. Then GENTLY shred fresh basil and fresh mozzarella on top of the dish. Grated Parmesan is optional - but delicious!

Start to finish, maybe 15-20 minutes, and for a lot of it you can be multitasking with other things. For the record, this was served with a lovely, dry Toscano wine.

- Melissa

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