I often talk about the advantages of keeping a mostly Mediterranean-style pantry. One of them is being able to make dinner in about 15 to 20 minutes, including prep. A fine example is tonight’s dinner, which was originally going to be penne con aglio e olio (pasta with garlic and olive oil), until I remembered that I had some Pomi chopped tomatoes that needed using lest they spoil.
Voilà. Dinner in 20 minutes, and for about $4 food cost. Can’t beat that.
dried penne pasta
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes — (1)
a pinch of red chile pepper flakes
salt, to taste
pecorino cheese (optional)
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, gently warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until cloves turn a pale gold, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, a small pinch of salt and chile flakes. Bring sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Taste for salt, then remove from heat.
Drain the pasta, then add to the pan. Mix well. Spoon into individual serving bowls, sprinkle each with some chopped parsley and pecorino cheese, then serve at once.
Time: 20 minutes, including prep.
(1) — I like and prefer Pomi vacuum-packed tomato products over canned. If unavailable, use any good-quality canned chopped tomatoes, preferably of the San Marzano variety.