This Easy Tomato Pasta recipe is my fallback plan. If I get stuck, I always know I can make a great tasting meal (that my kids will definitely eat) in under 20 minutes, using things I always have in my kitchen. Phew!
You must get those days when your dinner plans fall through, or you didn’t have time to go to the shops, or you get back late, or you forget to defrost something or you just don’t really fancy cooking, right? I know I do!
This Easy Tomato Pasta has been my saviour in those sort of situations more times than I care to think about! It’s quick (under 20 minutes), it’s easy, I pretty much have all the ingredients in my fridge and cupboards all the time and I know my kids will eat it without complaint…it’s also a heck of a lot cheaper (and quicker) than getting a takeaway and probably healthier too!
It’s also super versatile…and great for clearing out the fridge.
If I have some leftover chorizo or bacon, I chop them up small and cook them at the same time as the onions. A few stray veggies lurking at the back of my fridge? I throw them in when the onions have softened – peppers, courgettes, aubergines and mushrooms are all great in this.
No basil? You can use parsley or dried oregano. No balsamic vinegar? Try a splash of wine, or a squeeze of lemon juice. Or even good old Worcester Sauce. Want to spice things up? Add a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes and/or a teaspoon of smoked paprika. No sundried tomatoes? Just leave them out, or use sliced black olives instead.
And if you have fussy kids (or fussy grownups) who aren’t keen on lumps of vegetables and ‘yucky green bits’, just blitz this sauce up with a hand blender first before adding the pasta.
This tomato pasta sauce is also a great recipe to do as a big batch and keep in the fridge or freeze, so you have an even quicker meal when you need it! Why not make double the sauce and use the rest later in the week? Or use the second half of the sauce as a pizza topping or in a bolognese.
To make this Easy Tomato Pasta recipe even quicker and simpler, omit the basil, balsamic vinegar and sundried tomatoes. It won’t taste quite so nice but it will still feed hungry mouths quickly!
I’d love to know what your go to recipe is in emergency situations…let me know in the comments below! 😀
Easy Tomato Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 garlic clove crushed or finely chopped
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- A small handful of basil roughly chopped
- 300 g penne pasta or any shape you fancy
- 3 sundried tomatoes
- Grated cheddar or parmesan
- Pour the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion. Put on a low heat and sweat the onion, with the lid on, for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened but not brown. Stir occasionally.
- When the onion is cooked, add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and half the basil. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil, then cook for 10-15 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta according to packet instructions / your own preferences. Add the sundried tomatoes to the pasta to rehydrate.
- Just before the pasta is ready, hoick out the sundried tomatoes, (I use the point of a sharp knife or a fork) chop finely and add to the sauce.
- Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce with a couple of tablespoons of pasta cooking water. Serve sprinkled with the cheese and the remaining basil.
Want more delicious and hassle-free midweek meals? Find more here…
Want to find more great vegetarian meal ideas? Check out my collection of Easy Peasy Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes…
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