Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Frugal Food- Tomato Cream Pasta

This recipe is so simple I almost did not want to share it, but my family loves it and it is a good vegetarian option.
For the super easy version I cook and drain one box of whole grain or whole wheat penne, or rotini. In a separate large pot heat one jar of a good quality marinara sauce, and add 1/2 a package of cream cheese. The cream cheese will melt to a nice creamy consistency. Add pasta when cooked till coated. Serve with grated parmesan on top.

For the little more work version, I make my own tomato sauce.
Saute one onion chopped fine in 2 Tbsp of olive oil. When the onion begins to turn clear add 1-2 tsp minced garlic, and 1-2 tsp of Italian seasoning. (The garlic and seasoning are to taste, we prefer a lot so I usually lean to 2 tsp). Add 1 large (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes, and one small can of tomato sauce. Heat through, then add the 1/2 package of cream cheese, melt and add pasta till coated.

You can also place the sauce coated pasta in a casserole dish and cover with mozzerella, and bake at 350 till the cheese is melted through if your family prefers lasagne style pasta. If you choose to bake it, take about 2 minutes off your pasta boiling time as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

I use whole wheat or whole grain pasta in this dish for the added protein, and fiber.

Serves 4 very hungry or 6 moderately hungry people

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