Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream

As I grow older I become more focused on the quickest way to getting a tasty dinner on the table without going for greasy, cold, take out burgers.  It’s become even more important since I’ve gone back to work part-time and  I’m also picking Eric up from school three days a week.  I’m dealing with rush hour traffic on two freeways trying to get from southwest suburbs of Detroit to northeast suburbs and not walking through the door until 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.,  I don’t want to spend a lot of time hanging out over the stove.

Now that Walt is taking sandwiches to work instead of leftovers, I have eliminated the need to cook at least one day a week, sometimes two.  Another day or two we use the crock pot so dinner is ready as soon as I walk through the door.  We generally go out to dinner one day a week so that leaves me with 3-4 days that I actually have to plan meals that I prepare when I get home.  It’s not always easy to come up with meals that I can make quickly and still be tasty when reheated for Walt as he walks through the door a few hours later.

This recipe is quick, easy and tasty.  It started with a bag of ravioli, a jar of Alfredo sauce, a splash of wine, a little basil and parmesan.  What made it perfect?  The fresh chopped up tomatoes right out of our garden.  Try it….you’ll love it too!

Tuscan Pasta With Tomato Basil Cream

TUSCAN PASTA WITH TOMATO-BASIL CREAM

What You’ll Need:

1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli*

1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce

2 tablespoons white wine

2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped**

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Garnish: fresh basil strips

Directions:

  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan.
  • Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well.
  • Stir wine mixture into saucepan.
  • Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  • Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Garnish, if desired.

Source:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/tuscan-pasta-with-tomato-basil-cream-10000001646355/

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Monday Shopping Extravaganza

Hope everyone had a great Monday and smooth transition into the work week.  I actually spent 4 hours shopping yesterday.  Yes, me, the person who dislikes shopping spent four hours doing it yesterday.  No, I have not been brainwashed, my body has not been taken over by aliens, I have not discovered a love of shopping.  It was purely a necessity, I had to get a printer and while I was out I figured I might as well pick up some material to make a Valentine Wreath, the books I want to read, plus a few craft items from Michaels.   Although the printer was my main focus, I knew it would be relatively easy to get the other errands done as well since all the stores were close.  So you see it was an event, an extravaganza, that I would spend four hours in and out of stores.  It helped that I was on a mission for a printer and because I’m not a fan of shopping it’s why I made the printer the last stop.

So I decided I would shop hopped.  Now that I’ve learned that I don’t have to pull back onto Hall Road to get to each store, with the exception of Best Buy, I have discovered that it’s easy to just hop from store to store to store.  So my day went…..JoAnne’s, Barnes & Nobles, Michael’s and of course down the road to Best Buy for a printer.

I spent the most time at Barnes & Noble (I love being around books) and then of course Best Buy looking at printers.  I found a printer and bought it.  Yeah me and it was on sale, the article I read was right, don’t buy computers and such before January 1st because the stores have great sales and promotions on these things to get their inventory down.  I’m glad I waited.  Now all we (yes WE, I bought it, the installing falls to Walt so it’s “WE,”) have to do is get rid of the old one and figure out how to configure this one.  I never realized how much we (I) used the printer until our’s quit working.

Walt moved the old printer this morning and discovered that ink had leaked out of the printer onto our beautiful cream-colored desk.  It was my hope that I could wipe it up gently so that it would not smear across the desk and I did accomplish that.  Unfortunately under the two ink puddles, probably no bigger than a dime and a quarter circle, I discovered that the ink had already started to eat away at the desk top so now I have two little circles.  I’m heartbroken but hopefully I can get it fixed.  The sad part is that I know that ink could not have been there that long, I am sick about the fact that I didn’t catch it earlier.  Perhaps Art Van can come out and repair it OR, I’ll pick up a light off white craft paint and try to fill it in the best I can.  Although the new printer is a little smaller I am hoping that when we place it on the desk it will cover that area.

Last night I made a new Ravioli recipe.  I almost hate to even include the link to Hunts Recipes because even though their Beefy Skillet Ravioli was the inspiration for me to create my version, my version is completely different from theirs.  But fair is fair, I did get the general idea from their recipe and the only reason why I did not follow their recipe is because of my spoiled husband.  Walt does not like canned or bottled spaghetti sauces, he can tell when it comes from a can or a jar.  A few weeks ago I attempted to use the Hunts “Garlic and Onion” spaghetti sauce in a recipe and picked up right away that it was not one of my home-made sauces.

So I’ll leave you with the link to the original inspiration for my Adapted version of the recipe on the Hunts website : http://www.hunts.com/recipes-Beefy-Skillet-Ravioli-3386 and I’ll post my version.

This was really delicious and it didn’t any more time than if I would have opened up the already prepared can of spaghetti sauce instead of mixing my own sauce.  Served with a Caesar Salad, this makes a quick to the table home cooked meal.

BEEFY SKILLET CHEESE RAVIOLI

Cheese Ravioli

 

What You’ll Need:

1 lb.  Ground Round

1 15 oz Tomato Sauce

1  8 oz  Tomato Sauce

1 14.5 oz diced tomatoes (un-drained)

1 6 oz Tomato Paste

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp Basil

1 tsp Oregano

2 tsp dried garlic

16 oz bag frozen Ravioli

Directions:

  • Brown ground beef – drain off fat
  • Return ground beef to pan
  • Add the tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar and spices….mix well
  • Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Meanwhile cook Ravioli according to package directions and drain
  • Add to pasta sauce – mix well
  • Serve with fresh shredded parmesan cheese

Cheese Ravioli

Source: N. Rezich