Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Pasta dinner in less than 30 minutes

John’s favorite pasta dish, this is simple, delicious, and makes a great leftover lunch!

Prep time: less than 30 minutes

onion and garlic, chopped
large can of diced tomatoes
kalamata olives (cut in half, if you’d like)

1. Saute the onions until they are soft but not mushy.
2. Add in tomatoes, olives, and capers. Note: put pasta water on to boil at this juncture.
3. Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn down to simmer until pasta water is boiling.
4. Place the pasta into the boiling water, add a smidge of salt, and cook the appropriate amount of time, depending on what type of pasta noodles you are using. THEN, add chopped garlic (I use a lot!) to the sauce, turn off the burner, cover the sauce pot and let it rest while the pasta is cooking.
5. Drain pasta, return to pot, pour the sauce on top, and mix gently until the pasta is covered with this savory sauce.
If you would like, Parmesan cheese–freshly grated or packaged–is delish on top.

SIDE DISH NOTE: I almost always prepare greens to go with this dish; either kale and chard combo (plenty of garlic!), brussel sprouts (think garlic),  green beans (guess what I add to this–yep, mo’ garlic) or if I am feeling adventurous, grilled zucchini. All of the side dishes can be prepared and finished while the sauce and pasta are cooking. It’s that simple! Check it out:

1. Wash and stem the chard and kale leaves.
2. Chop up plenty ‘o garlic.
3. Put them both together in heated up olive oil and saute for approximately 5 minutes. Allow the greens to stay somewhat crunchy! Sprinkle a tad of salt, and voila! You have a nutrient dense, fabulously flavored and gorgeous looking side dish.

1. Place brussel sprouts, a few at a time, in your food processor, using the slice blade.
2. Add them, with plenty of garlic, to heated olive oil and saute with a pinch of salt for just a few minutes. Al dente rules!
3. This brussel sprout recipe will blow away any previous nightmares you have had since childhood, when your mother boiled the BS into a mushy, horrid mess.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Take the stems off the green beans.
3. Place them and a bunch of chopped garlic in a glass baking dish, toss with olive oil. Mix well.
4. Sprinkle with black pepper.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring them around once or twice. They will come out of the oven crisp, garlic-y, and a perfect compliment to pasta.

1. Slice zucchini into long strips, not too thin and not too thick.
2. Rub with a little garlic infused olive oil.
3. Place the strips on a cookie type sheet and broil on low for 2 – 3 minutes on both sides. At the last nanosecond of broiling on the second side, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, which will then become a chewy, yummy, crusty topping.

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

2 Responses to “Pasta dinner in less than 30 minutes”

  • Rochelle:

    Two days ago I had tried roasted brussels sprouts. They were so-so. But they had too much sauce (balsamic vinegar) on them.

    I found your recipe today and my husband and I loved it. So much crispier and so much natural flavor.

    Thank you Robin!

  • Robin Mallery:

    I am so glad you liked the brussel sprout recipe, Rochelle. We got it from Kuleto’s, one of our favorite restaurants in the city!

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