Pasta is a staple in my house. For the most part, you can make it fast. But, there are also some amazing dishes that take a while (lasagna, baked ziti anyone?). I kind of have to admit, too, that one of the reasons I love pasta has to do with the control freak in me. It’s also the same reason I prefer texting and email. It’s all on my time. I get to decide, do I want/need a quick pasta tonight? Do I need/want to respond to this text right now? Basically, whether a text or pasta, it comes down to me. And no one knows the elements that brought me to the decision. This dish, however, I’ll share with you the behind the scenes thought process. I already had defrosted the extra lean ground beef. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it simply because my family is just coming back from a quick little vacation to Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe (one of our fave places and I encourage everyone to go) and anyone that knows me understands that I spent the week leading up to Tahoe planning, cooking, and packing for our trip (those recipes to follow). By the time we got back home I was 1) exhausted from a wonderful trip, 2) really tired of planning and cooking, and 3) completely out of groceries save for the staples I had on hand. I can tell you, quite confidently, this was a huge hit!
1 lb extra lean ground beef (can sub ground chicken or turkey)
1 (14.5) oz diced tomatoes
1 (14.5) oz tomato sauce
1/2 of (6.5) garlic & herb spreadable cheese (such as Alouette)
1 Tbs dried basil (such as Morton & Bassett) (I prefer fresh, but since my GSD puppy ate my plant, I had to go with dried)
Handful of dried spaghetti
Parmesan grated, shredded, shaved (your preference) for serving
Boil pasta according to your doneness preference.
While pasta cooks, brown meat. Once browned, drain off any excess fat. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Reduced heat to medium low and heat through. Add the garlic and herb spreadable cheese. Stir to completely incorporate through. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer 5 – 10 minutes. Add basil the last few minutes and stir (if using fresh basil, wait until ready to serve.
Mix pasta with sauce, in batches, stirring to combine with each batch. Top with favorite Parmesan. Serve with crusty bread.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Total time: 40 minutes