weeknight gourmet

EASY Spicy Tomato Sauce with Meatballs

I had a very busy week at work and was traveling for part of the week so I haven’t cooked since Sunday.  I didn’t even get a chance to post this super easy meal I made on Sunday after our long drive back from the Berkshires.

We often stop at a Trader Joe’s off the highway in Connecticut on our drive back to New York City.  During our drive I was searching on my phone for something easy to make for dinner.  I found this very quick and easy spicy tomato sauce recipe.  You all know I like spicy food and that I love pasta so I decided this would be a good Sunday night meal.

While I was shopping at Trader Joe’s I noticed their pre-made meatballs.  I had never bought these (or any other) pre-cooked meatballs before.  But I have always been impressed with the quality of Trader Joe’s prepared food and thought that the meatballs would add some additional flavor and protein to our meal.

The meatballs were tasty!  Definitely not a substitute for homemade but perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!  I just added the meatballs to the sauce to allow them to heat through.

The sauce — which was so quick and easy to make — had really nice flavor and tasted like it had been simmering for hours.  Be sure to use high quality canned tomatoes.  We topped whole wheat penne with the sauce, meatballs, parmesan cheese, and Italian parsley.  A tasty Sunday night meal thrown together in 20 minutes!

Pennette with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Food & Wine

  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in tomato puree, drained
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • 3/4 pound whole wheat pennette or penne
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree the tomatoes until smooth. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the sliced garlic and cook over moderately low heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the pureed tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Season the tomato sauce with salt.

Salt the boiling water. Add the pennette to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce in the skillet. Toss well and spoon into bowls or a serving dish. Sprinkle the pennette with parsley and serve.

 

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