Tuesday, March 20, 2012

penne with creamy herby tomato sauce

Sometimes I get distracted from cooking...usually by work. It really saddens me when I can't spend entire days in the little kitchen. When I am there it seems that all I do is wash  dishes and clean up messes. That perplexes me when I see a pile of dishes in the sink and I truly have to wonder how they got there. I've been too busy to cook! What the heyyyylllll?!? Yet, I still gotta eat and truly prefer my own half-baked attempts in the kitchen over anything else.
This is a really quick and easy meal to throw together. The moment I walk in the door, I put on a big pot of salted water to boil, then I go looking for pasta throw in there. Ziti and spaghetti are always in my pantry. I start with my favorite  go-to sauce from 101cookbooks. While the water is heating up I get this going:

Two tablespoons of olive oil, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes and some kosher salt. Cook it on a medium heat for a few minutes until the garlic starts to color a little, then add a 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes like this:

While that's heating up I pull out whatever fresh herbs I've got.

...which happened to be tarragon, thyme and basil today. I chopped 'em all up and into the pot they went.
along with some shredded parmesan and sour cream. That's it. Stir it all up and dump it over your cooked and drained spaghetti. One side note via the geniuses at Americas Test Kitchen and Cooks Illustrated: before you drain your pasta reserve about a half cup of your pasta water to add back into your pasta and sauce in case you may want to thin the sauce out a little. Drain your pasta quickly. Don't let it sit in the strainer and put it immediately back into to pot. You want to leave it pretty wet. Then stir in your sauce and add back a little of that pasta water to thin it out if you feel like it and you're done.

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