Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Incredibly Light and Quick Pasta Sauce with Garlic Bread

Looking for a super fast, super simple pasta dish for dinner tonight?  Well, look no further.  It's tasty, it's light and will be done in no time at all.  And I know there is cheese and half and half, so it doesn't sound light, but it is...believe me.  Not heavy like a typical cream sauce.  Try it with any type of pasta you like, but be sure to serve this garlic bread with it - which is just as fast and just about the perfect compliment to this dish!  

And sorry there are no measurements for the ingredients for the bread...I just do everything to taste, so if you prefer less salt, use a lighter sprinkle of the garlic salt or even just use garlic powder.  I use a LOT of salt in my dishes so my measurements might be a bit salty for other people's taste! 
Serves 6-8

Incredibly Light and Quick Pasta Sauce with Garlic Bread

1 pound of rotini (or the pasta of your choice)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
20 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the garlic bread 
1 loaf of french bread
softened butter or spreadable butter
garlic salt
grated Parmesan cheese 

In a large stockpot, bring water to boil to cook pasta.  Follow the directions for pasta to be al dente.  While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and garlic in a deep saucepan over medium heat.  When the garlic becomes fragrant (2-3 minutes) add tomatoes and heat through.  Stir in basil leaves until they wilt.  Add the cream to your sauce and stir until it becomes a shade or two lighter.  Drain pasta and toss with sauce.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve with garlic bread (recipe follows)

To make the garlic bread:  preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice loaf of french bread in half lengthwise.  On the cut side of both slices, spread a thin layer of butter.  Generously sprinkle with garlic salt (depending on your taste), and lightly top with paprika and Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bread toasts and becomes golden brown along the edges.  

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