Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce

With all of this holiday eating and cooking, making a big meal may not be your biggest priority right now. And you’re probably out of leftovers….. so, here’s a solution to still having a quick, easy, home cooked meal. It would take longer for you to call and order a pizza and wait for it to be delivered, than it would take to make this. This is a dinner we’ve had on our “Meatless Monday” nights. Yes, I’m aware it’s now Tuesday. But it’s great any time you need something fast.

Just be warned, I took pictures of this dish MONTHS and MONTHS ago. Like, almost a year. And I’ve just never posted it before. And the food was taken with my old phone. At night, when it was totally dark. So it’s really not the best¬†picture you’ve ever seen. But make the food anyways, and you’ll see in person it’s much tastier looking than my crappy photography makes it out to be! ūüôā

 

pasta ingredients

Don’t be alarmed by the date on the half & half. This is an old picture!

Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce

  • 1 lb. pasta, noodle type is your choice
  • 1/2 c. half & half
  • 1/3 c. prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 tomato, chopped

Cook pasta according to directions on box. In a small saucepan, add the prepared pesto and the half and half. Heat on medium low, until warm, and stir together. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to a bowl. Pour creamy pesto sauce over the top and add chopped tomato. Stir and serve.

It’s seriously that easy AND only 4 ingredients. Feel free to add some cracked black pepper or a little bit of grated parmesan but really, it has a ton of flavor already.pasta

Meatless Monday

lasagnaCutting out meat for one dinner a week actually adds up to quite a bit of savings in the long run. Carnivores live in my house so we don’t always do this, but we try.

This recipe is a great meatless Monday entr√©e and is quite filling. Plus, my dad gave the thumbs up on this one, and he literally cannot have a meal WITHOUT meat. He was so surprised that he didn’t even miss it with this dish!

P.S. This dish was a real time saver for me. I put it together and baked it in the morning, let it cool for quite some time and then put it in the fridge. We had a super busy night ahead of us and all I did was cut out some portions, heat them up in the microwave and served with a salad. Saved me lots of time in the evening.

Spinach Lasagna

My mom turned me onto this stuff. Perfect in this recipe.

My mom turned me onto this stuff. Perfect in this recipe.

  • 2¬†cans (15 ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • ¬†2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¬†1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¬†1/4 c. white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • ¬†2 basil cubes (fresh or dried basil will work too)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 container (15 ounce) ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2¬†c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package of frozen chopped spinach (10 ounce or half of a family sized bag), thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 6 uncooked lasagna noodles
The frozen basil I'm always using

The frozen basil I’m always using

First, start off by making the marinara sauce. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan on medium. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes, then add chopped garlic. Pour wine into the pan and let cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, for approximately 20 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

marinaraPreheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan, 1 cup of the mozzarella, spinach, egg, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Set aside.

lasagna 4In a lasagna pan (the disposable ones are perfect) pour about a ladle full of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay three noodles side by side. Top with half of the cheese mixture and then a little less than half of the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with approximately 3/4 c. of the mozzarella. Add 3 more noodles, the remaining cheese mixture and pour the rest of the sauce over the top. (It will look like a lot of sauce) Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

lasagna 3Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and let cook for an additional 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and let sit for about 20 minutes before cutting into it and serving.

lasagna 2

Best part of this is that if you’re using the disposable lasagna pan which I highly recommend, you can throw away the pan when it’s all gone. Who likes scrubbing a lasagna dish anyways?