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Linger over supper awhile with creamy tomato pasta dish

Published 2:30pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Updated 2:30pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In my last Food Finds blog, I shared an easy mushroom pasta dish that was elegant enough for company, and very tasty, too.

I usually make Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce as a companion dish to the mushroom pasta recipe. Using my multitasking skills, it is simple enough to make both these pasta recipes allowing me to offer two options to my family.

Paired with a Cesear salad and either bread sticks or garlic toast and a light dessert — frequently it’s ice cream — this meal is one to linger over with your guests.

Penne with Creamy Tomato Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 can ( 28 ounces) tomatoes in puree, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons vodka (optional)

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup heavy or whipping cream

1 cup frozen peas , thawed (I use green beans because I don’t care for peas—it still tastes good)

1 package (16 ounces) penne or rotini

1⁄2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook 30 minutes

Makes 4 main-dish servings

In non-stick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds longer.

Stir in tomatoes with their puree, vodka (if using), and salt. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in cream and peas (or beans). Heat to boiling.

Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan, cook pasta as label directs. Drain. In warm serving bowl, toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle with basil.

About 652 calories

From 100 Best Pasta Recipes by Good Housekeeping.

Penne with creamy tomato sauce is another tasty pasta dish worth lingering over with guests.

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