First up is a particularly easy one-pot pasta recipe featuring some tomatoes from my ten-year-old sister Mia's garden.
I'm quite lucky I got these tomatoes, you see, because, when my dad and Mia planted her garden this spring, she wasted no time in informing me that I would not be allowed to have anything from her garden since I no longer live at home.
"Gina, only people who live here can have things from the garden."
She let up a little as the summer went on and told me that the only prerequisite for garden tomatoes was living at home for a week. I told her I had to work, so I could not spend a whole week, but apparently "it was my choice."
Fortunately, as you can see from these beautiful tomatoes, she relented recently after I spent a night or two at home. You can bet I'm going to have to be back there under her thumb again though if I want some more.
Adapted from this recipe.
1 cup small pasta noodles or shells (I used Barilla Whole Grain Rotini, which is supposed to cook in 9 minutes)
1 1/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I used my favorite, Urzi's Bread Dipping Spice)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small tomato diced or a tablespoon or two of sun-dried tomatoes
- In a small saucepan, combine the noodles, milk, salt, and Italian seasoning.
- Over medium heat, bring the milk-pasta mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently.
- Once the mixture comes to a simmer, turn the heat to low and continue stirring. Stirring constantly, cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the milk has been fully absorbed, and the noodles are al dente. Add small amounts of milk until the noodles are al dente if necessary.
- When the milk has been absorbed and the noodles are cooked, add the cheese. Stir until the cheese has formed a smooth sauce. Add tomatoes.
- Turn off the heat, and cover the pan for 5 minutes or so before serving.