Everyone enjoys a nice pasta dinner at home; fewer people have the time or energy at the end of a long day to spend hours on a homemade sauce. Don’t fret! Your pasta will not go naked. You can create a quick and delicious pasta sauce with just a few ingredients.
Vegetable Tomato Sauce
This recipe was a favorite of my mom’s while I was growing up because it utilizes any vegetables you have around. My favorites include kale, brussel sprouts, squash, and zucchini in varying combinations. Try altering the amounts or how roughly they are chopped to create different textures.
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
2-4 garlic cloves minced
Two 14.5 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
1-3 cups of chopped vegetables
1 lb of cooked pasta
- Over medium heat, sauté the garlic in the olive oil in a large sauce pan until slightly brown and fragrant.
- Add the vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to add denser veggies first (such as broccoli) and softer ones last. Stir until they are tender and smell delicious.
- Add the tomatoes and stir.
- Combine the vegetables with your cooked pasta (either in the pan or in a separate bowl).
Brown Butter and Parmesan
Browning butter releases a deep, nutty flavor that perfectly accompanies filled pastas (such as ravioli). Alternatively, you can add some pasta water and toss with spaghetti or penne (my favorite).
4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup grated parmesan
Black pepper to taste
½ lb of cooked pasta
¼ cup of reserved pasta water (if using unfilled pasta, such as spaghetti)
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.
- Whisk constantly to keep from burning. Keep stirring until foam dissipates. When it has thickened slightly and is a deep brown, remove from heat.
- For filled pasta: plate your pasta and drizzle the brown butter over them evenly using a spoon. Top with Parmesan and ground black pepper.
- For unfilled pasta: transfer the drained pasta to a big bowl and add the browned butter and reserved pasta water. Use tongs or a big spoon to make sure all the noodles are coated. Add the parmesan and keep stirring until it is a creamy consistency. Top with ground pepper after plated.
Pasta with Garlic and Breadcrumbs
My grandmother would often fulfill our request for comfort food with this simple, hearty recipe alongside some oven-roasted vegetables.
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup breadcrumbs
2-4 garlic cloves minced
1 lb cooked pasta
- In a large sauce pan, sauté the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until light brown.
- Stir in the breadcrumbs.
- When the breadcrumbs are golden brown add your cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat the noodles.