Happy birthday, Weekend Herb Blogging! Weekend Herb Blogging is celebrating its second birthday this weekend. Creator Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen has challenged bloggers to incorporate an herb and a veggie into a dish for this weekend’s roundup. I have to admit, mine doesn’t quite fit the bill though since tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. Nonetheless, this was yummy enough to send anyway.
Growing season here in the Northeast is on its final legs. Pretty soon, we’ll be fending off frost warnings and storm watches. Eeek. But I am an enjoy it while you can sort of girl, so I am. My parents still have a few deliciously ripe tomatoes on their vines, so I am using them as fast as I can get them. I wouldn’t want to let those bright orbs of sweet goodness go to waste!
(Coincidentally, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is known to help ward off cancer. Cooked tomatoes are the best source of lycopene.)
This pasta is a quick but hearty meal. I suggest using Barilla pasta, because its my favorite, but you can substitute another brand if you prefer. You’ll need 4 servings of cooked pasta when all is said and done. If you wanted to make this appropriate for a low-carb lifestyle, omit the sugar and stir in a bay leaf with the oregano. Remove before serving.
- 1/2 box Barilla mini penne
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium tomatoes, , diced
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, (not packed in oil)
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- Sea salt
- a glug of Balsamic vinegar, (about 2 tbsp)
- a pinch of sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring water to a boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes and chop the sundried tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Finely chop the oregano too and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet until warm. Add the tomatoes and stir.
- Is the water boiling now? Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes. (Or according to package directions -- you want it al dente.)
- When the tomatoes begin to break down, stir in the oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the sauce becomes thick (it will actually be somewhat paste-y). Transfer to a mixing bowl and top with cheese.
- When the pasta is done, toss with the sauce and cheese in the mixing bowl. Serve immediately.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.