It’s here. I spotted it last week. Christmas Creep. Technically, we still have quite a bit of time to prepare for the beloved, yet somewhat stressful, holiday season, but the second store aisles become littered with red and green, I can feel the pressure mounting. My mind spins with ideas of what I want to do for the season, followed by what I should do, and then I sigh as I wonder if there will really be enough time to do any of it. At this point I start feeling too overwhelmed to cook. Its like clockwork every year. Suddenly, I just want to eat out, and skip the stress of planning anything altogether.
Thank goodness for friends like Robin. Her cookbooks have saved me many times when I wanted to put on my lazy pants and grab some (rather unhealthy) food. She is the queen of fast and easy recipes that use everyday ingredients. Yesterday, I reached for her latest cookbook, Quick-fix Vegan, and was elated when the first recipe I looked at was one that I could make right away, no shopping trip required …
Plus, it used an ingredient that I’d been dying to crack open, some beautiful oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes that were sent to me from Bella San Luci. All I can say is WOW. The fragrance was other worldly (they were the ones with Italian herbs added), and the flavor of those tomatoes escalated this pasta to another level. While I would say that you could use any old sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe, the Bella San Luci ones are actually easy to find and pretty darn affordable. I’ll be buying them myself going forward.
But back to that wonderful Italian recipe. Robin was kind enough to let me share this radiantly-red pasta to kick off what I hope will be a healthy and no hassle cooking season …
- 12 Ounces Rotini
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 (14.5-ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
- ¾ Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, halved
- ¼ Cup Oil-Packed Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
- ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Cook the rotini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the diced tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes have broken down a bit, 5 minutes.
- Add the olives, sundried tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste. Cook to blend flavors, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes longer. Drain the cooked pasta well and serve topped with the sauce.