I’m sure we have all had those “I don’t want to cook” type of days. My solution? A simple tomato based pasta is my go to for simple homemade comfort food.
If I’m cooking dinner for myself alone, I usually will boil up some angel hair pasta and toss it with a simple mix of olive oil, garlic, basil and tomatoes. Top with parmesan cheese and that’s it. Heaven. I have made that dish so many times over the years, and many times I will change it up depending on what I have on hand. At different times, I have added chicken, broccoli, goat cheese and onion depending on my mood.
When I was contemplating dumping tomatoes in a pan for this particular dish, I decided I was craving seafood of some sort. Thankfully there were a couple nice pieces of cod at the grocery store that called my name. Simple white fish like cod or mahi-mahi go really well with this dish because they are so light in flavor, the fish enhances the tomatoes rather than takes over. If you were to add salmon or ahi to this dish, I guarantee the pasta would only be a side dish.
The day I made this I wanted something a bit more decadent – hence the cream. I’ve never been a huge fan of alfredo sauce, it’s usually too rich to eat much of it. By adding a touch of cream to a tomato sauce though, I get that touch of richness without the usual heaviness. If you want to save even more calories, use half and half instead of heavy cream. It will be just as good.
Side topic I am going to go off on for a second: So I just realized I really need to do squash, because everyone I know is harvesting massive two foot zucchini and those lovely squash blossoms are still waiting at the farmers market for me. I have a zucchini plant called ‘Eight Ball’. It literally grows round zucchini spheres the size of billiards balls. They are so cool! I’ll have to take a picture to show you. But in the meantime, I need YOUR help to come up with some awesome squash recipes. What would you like to see?
Ok, back to my comfort pasta. So vodka. Well vodka sauce is pretty amazing and if you have never had it you are sorely missing out. I added it to this one to give another level of flavor just so you can try it. It somehow takes the tomatoes to a heightened level that blends perfectly with the flavor of the basil. So, grab these ingredients on the way home tonight, whip up a simple pasta dish for you and your honey (add seafood or chicken if you like), grab a bottle of wine and celebrate a night we all love – Friday.
- 1 pound pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup vodka
- 2 tablespoons basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese
- Boil the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking set a large saute pan with the olive oil in it over medium heat. Add both cans of tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Add cream, vodka (remove the pan off the heat, add the vodka then replace over the heat), basil and salt and pepper. Lower heat to low and simmer for about two minutes.
- Drain pasta and toss with tomato sauce. Serve with seafood or chicken if you like and lots of parmesan cheese.