dinner in 30 minutes · Fast meal · Pasta

Quick Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

If you need supper in a hurry, pasta is often a good option because it cooks so quickly. The recipe I’m sharing today came together in about 25 minutes, but it tastes like one of those dishes that took a long time to make! Oh my word, this is delicious!

The list of ingredients is small, too. I had all the ingredients on hand when I stumbled across this recipe. Pasta, sausage, tomatoes and some half and half all come together to make a satisfying and filling main dish! I can’t wait to make this again!

I found a recipe but tweaked it to our preferences. Here’s how I made it…

Pasta with Italian Sausage and Tomato Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. pasta – I used what I had – Elbow, but Ziti or rigatoni would be perfect
  • 12 oz Italian sausage – I used mild
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup fat-free half and half
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach or frozen works too!
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking begin the sauce.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the Italian sausage and the onion, saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute.
  • Add tomatoes, simmer and reduce the liquid by half.
  • Lower the heat, stir in the half and half, spinach, salt, pepper. Simmer until the cream is heated and the spinach is wilted. Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and stir to combine.
  • Serve immediately.

This meal needs a nice piece of bread to go along with it. I served a dish of applesauce instead of salad. It was a wonderful, fast meal!

I’m not a big pasta fan, but this recipe might change that!

I hope you’ll make and enjoy this quick and delicious recipe!

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes

So Many Tomatoes You Don’t Know What To Do?

If you have a garden or someone you know has one, it’s very possible you’ve been inundated with Tomatoes! I’m so blessed to have generous friends who share their bounty with me when my own Cherry Tomatoes quit producing.

I probably ended up with about 20 pounds of tomatoes last week, thanks to kind friends. My sister had told me about Ina Garten’s fabulous Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup and I knew I wanted to use my tomatoes to mix up a batch or two. I’m so glad I did! It’s super yummy!! I made a third batch and froze practically all of it. I did eat a small bowl for lunch and took a Quart to the friend who gave me her beautiful produce.Oh, if you love Cream of Tomato Soup, you need to make this! Just know this soup is in my freezer makes me excited about our fall lunches!

The next thing I made with all those tomatoes was this fresh salsa. I made two jars and it will just sit in the fridge and marinate for a number of hours and then disappear this week as we have chips and salsa and tacos. This recipe has a little honey in it for some sweetness, and a jalapeno for a little kick. Yum!

Here is the way I made the salsa recipe:

Fresh Salsa
4 or 5 red and/or yellow tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Fresh black pepper

Mix all ingredients and let marinate in the refrigerator at least an hour.

I love fresh tomatoes on pizza! They can be Cherry Tomatoes or chopped up large tomatoes. This Two-Ingredient Pizza Dough recipe is my current go-to recipe!

One of the most savory tomato recipes I make is this Cheese Ravioli with Tomatoes. It’s a fast meal, but has so much flavor because of the roasted tomatoes. Oh, my goodness, I could eat this every week!

Lastly, there’s Tomato Pie. If you’re shaking your head, you’ve never tried it. I told someone recently that it’s like a grown-up BLT.

Tomato Pie

  • Baked pie crust
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbl. Olive Oil
  • Cooked Bacon Crumbles (2 slices)
  • 2 Sliced Tomatoes
  • 1/3 C Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/3 C Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 C Light Mayo
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Saute’ onions in Olive oil. Place in baked pie shell. Place bacon crumbles on sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix Mayo, cheeses and basil. Spread over tomatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until lightly browned a hot.

When I made this last week, I also drizzled a LITTLE Balsamic reduction over the tomatoes. You can add that, too, if you want a depth of flavor!

This is so delicious, but don’t take my word for it. Use up those August tomatoes and make a Tomato Pie this week. I hope you’ll give some of the other tomato recipes a try as well! You’ll be in tomato heaven!

Who’s had Tomato Pie? Which of these recipes appeals most to you?

Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · salad

Big Mac Salad

These hot August days sometimes turn my appetite away from heavy, hot foods to cold, refreshing salads. But when you need some protein, and you want more than a garden salad, what do you do?

You add ingredients to the salad that have the taste of a Big Mac without the heaviness or the calories of a burger! This Big Mac Salad is basically a deconstructed hamburger without the bun. But it’s hearty and delicious!

Here’s how you make it:

Big Mac Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 8 oz Romaine lettuce (or iceberg if desired)
  • 1 cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Pickles (diced)

DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Pickles (diced)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp  sweetener of choice
  1. Brown ground beef, adding salt and pepper. Break beef up into small crumbles as it cooks.
  2. In a large bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and pickles. Top with cooked ground beef. Top with dressing just before serving.
    You can also assemble each salad on the plates as I did in the photos here.
  3. For Dressing:
    Mix ingredients in a mason jar. Add warm water or oil to make it a pouring consistency .

This meal is also super fast and can be on the table in less than 30 minutes – probably faster than you could run to the local fast food restaurant and get served! It’s the perfect meal on a hot day, or a day when you want something delicious, but healthier than a hamburger!

What do you eat when it’s hot outside?

dinner in 30 minutes · Fast meal · summertime

Kentucky Hot Brown

Oh, how I have loved having all the fresh tomatoes this summer!  There are a few things I crave when I know a fresh tomato is in the house; one is a BLT on sour dough bread.  I took care of that craving a couple weeks ago.  Another yummy dish is a Kentucky Hot Brown.  If you’ve never had one, think of it as a BLT with turkey slices and cheese sauce added.  It is heavenly!  As you can imagine, however, it is a little on the fattening side. 

~Enter Cooking Light…

They have a lightened up version of this yummy Kentucky favorite, and it’s just as good as the more fattening version.  Okay, even if you don’t have fresh tomatoes lying around, go buy a tomato somewhere and make this for supper!  I had roasted a turkey breast a couple weeks ago and stored slices in the freezer marked, “Turkey Breast slices for Hot Browns.”  So, this recipe was in the back of my head for a few weeks! 

Sauce:

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard  

Remaining ingredients:
12 (1-ounce) slices white bread, toasted
3 cups shredded cooked turkey (about 6 ounces)
12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
5 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. To prepare sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour, salt, paprika, and pepper. Cook the mixture 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 3 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cheddar, Worcestershire, and mustard; stir with a whisk until smooth. Keep warm.
  3. Arrange toast on a large baking sheet. Arrange turkey evenly over toast. Drizzle sauce evenly over turkey; top each toast slice with 1 tomato slice. Sprinkle evenly with bacon and Parmesan. Broil for 7 minutes or until thoroughly heated and lightly browned. Serve immediately.
Kentucky Hot Brown

If you need a couple recipe suggestions for fresh tomatoes, here’s a recipe using Cherry Tomatoes. This ravioli is so delicious! Of course you can’t beat a good ol’ Tomato Sandwich on white bread, spread with mayo and Cheddar cheese slice!
What is your favorite way to eat fresh tomatoes?

dinner in 30 minutes · Main entree

Transform Any Meat With This Sauce!

My husband LOVES sauces on his entrees’! However, because we’re trying to cut back on calories and watch our diets, adding a sauce seemed out of the question.

But I was Wrong!!

I found the easiest, tastiest sauce that was delicious on our pork chops (which can be dry without something!).
This sauce would also be fantastic on chicken or salmon! Instead of heavy cream, it is made with chicken broth and reduced-fat sour cream, making it much lighter!

Here’s the simple list of ingredients and recipe:

Mustard Sauce

1/4 stp salt
1/4 tsp eppper,
1 tsp oil
1/3 Cup fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped shallots
2 Tbl water
1 Tbl, coarse grain mustard
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 Tbl. chives, chopped, optional

  1. Sprinkle meat with salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and cook until browned and cooked through. Transfer to plate to keep warm.
  2. Add broth and shallots to skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often and scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet, until shallots are tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove skillet from heat; stir in water, mustard, sour cream and remaining 1/8 tsp pepper. Spoon mustard sauce over meat; garnish with chives, if desired.

You need to add this recipe to your files when you want to dress up a plain piece of meat into something really special!

What extra something do you wish you could enjoy more frequently with your dinner?

With love from my country kitchen,