Penne with spicy tomato sauce (4 servings)

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Yes, I do still exist, readers. I really have no excuse for my lack of posts, besides the usual post-work fatigue and laziness. But here I am, back with a fabulous pantry-based recipe!

Recipes like this are wonderful, especially at the end of a long work week (or after ten straight days of work, as the case may be).

This recipe comes from Food and Wine, which surprised me, considering its low-cost ingredients (most of which come right out of the pantry) and its quick preparation. It's vegan, it's easy to make, and it's very satisfying without being too heavy or rich. One teaspoon of red pepper flakes was just enough heat for me; it warmed up the dish without overpowering the other flavors. This would be a great dish to combat a nasty summer cold!

You will need:

  • 3/4 lb (12 oz) dried penne (or similar) pasta
  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • chopped parsley or basil

Steps:

  1. Start a stockpot of water boiling for the pasta. Meanwhile, use a food processor to puree the drained tomatoes until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-low in a large rimmed skillet. When warm, add the garlic, cooking and stirring until golden (about 2 min). Add the red pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened (6-8 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions; drain. Add drained pasta to tomato sauce and toss. Serve immediately with parsley or basil on top, if desired. (We added a little parmesan too, thus making it non-vegan, of course.)

It couldn't be much simpler than that! It's a really cheap recipe, too. What a great way to start the weekend!