Easy Weeknight Dinner: Tomato Basil Pasta

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January 29, 2014

Healthy meals don't need to take a lot of ingredients, time, or money to make. This super simple pasta recipe takes just minutes to make and all you need are 5 ingredients: pasta, tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil. Use your favorite noodle (we used Trader Joe's Spinach and Garlic linguine); the sauce would even be great on tortellini, ravioli, or rice. This dish is so easy you don't even need a recipe!

First, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Make sure it's salty like the sea as this will ensure a flavorful pasta! When the water comes to a boil add the pasta.

While pasta is cooking, cut about 2-3 cups of cherry tomatoes in half (or dice larger tomatoes), and mince 4-5 cloves of garlic. Pour a few good glugs (about 3 tablespoons) of olive oil into a large skillet, add the garlic and heat on medium low. You don't want to brown the garlic, just let it sweat a bit (about 2 minutes). Toss in the tomatoes and turn the heat up to medium high. Sauté the tomatoes until they begin to soften and break down (about 5-8 minutes). Take a few leaves of basil, roll them up together like a cigar, and thinly slice. Toss most of it into the tomato mixture and reserve some for garnishing. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the pasta water to the sauce. This will give it a nice flavor and a natural creamy texture (no extra salt is necessary!).

Drain and place in a serving bowl. Pour the tomato sauce over the pasta, lightly toss, and garnish with some fresh basil. If you'd like, add some good Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and you have a super easy meal that took little effort and just a few simple ingredients!

Shopping list:

1 package pasta
1 container of cherry tomatoes (we like the multi-colored ones)
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, optional