Summer Ratatouille

If your vegetable garden is overflowing with zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers, you can make a wonderful Summer Ratatouille! There are several ways to make ratatouille. Mine is more like a veggie “stew” with zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, and herbs! The traditional version calls for eggplant. You can certainly add eggplant, but I didn’t have any on hand!

Zucchini, Tomato and Red Bell Pepper Ratatouille (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Zucchini, Tomato and Red Bell Pepper Ratatouille (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The best version of this dish that I ever ate was in Tampa, Florida. The restaurant was an old-style Italian restaurant with very high-end Italian food. Their slightly smoky ratatouille was served as a side dish. The waiter seemed to be surprised at how much I liked it. Never did find out their secret to the smokiness, although I suspect they grilled or roasted the vegetables in the dish before sauteing them together.

This is a simple recipe that just requires a little time to cook to perfection. Don’t overcook the vegetables or they will be a mushy mess.

Use that overabundance of zucchini that you’re harvesting in your garden. Or find a nice specimen at your local farmers’ market or grocery store produce section. Slice the zucchini into about 1/4 inch thick rounds.

Local Virginia-grown zucchini squash from Lois' Produce at Whole Foods Markets (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Local Virginia-grown zucchini squash from Lois’ Produce at Whole Foods Markets (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Find some tasty ripe tomatoes. Core the tomatoes, and then dice them into cubes.

Tomatoes from my garden!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Tomatoes from my garden! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Find a nice bell pepper. Pick whatever color you like, or use a mixture of colors. Remove the core and seeds from the pepper, and slice it thinly.

Whole Foods Market's colorful bell pepper selection (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whole Foods Market’s colorful bell pepper selection (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Start with some olive oil and butter. Melt them together in a pan. Then peel and slice a small yellow onion and saute in the oil and butter until the onion is translucent. Add two minced garlic cloves and the thinly sliced bell pepper. Cook until the pepper has softened slightly. Add the diced fresh tomatoes and thinly sliced zucchini zucchini. Cook until the zucchini has slightly softened. Then add some dried basil and oregano, some dry white wine, and some vegetable stock. Let that simmer slowly for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

You can certainly add eggplant, as I’d mentioned, and some sliced mushrooms. Yellow squash works well in this dish.

Summery Zucchini Tomato Pepper Ratatouille alongside Creamy Basil Arugula Pesto Tortellini (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Summery Zucchini Tomato Pepper Ratatouille alongside Creamy Basil Arugula Pesto Tortellini (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Super simple and flavorful, it’s a superb vegetable side dish to a serving of pasta!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Zucchini Tomato Pepper Ratatouille

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 small yellow onion, cut in half lengthwise, and then thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red or green bell pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch thin matchsticks (or use half green and half red, or a different combination of pepper colors)
2 tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thin rounds
2 t dried basil
2 t dried oregano
1/2 c dry white wine
1/2 c vegetable stock
salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Warm the olive oil, and melt the butter with it, over medium-low heat in a skillet.
2. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
3. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes.
4. Add the bell pepper and cook until the pepper has softened slightly.
5. Add the tomatoes and zucchini and cook until the zucchini has softened.
6. Add the basil, oregano, white wine, and vegetable stock. Simmer for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated yet the vegetables are not mushy.
7. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Serve!

Serves 4 as a side dish. Offer with a plate of The Best Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and a Caesar Salad. Another option is to serve alongside my Creamy Basil Arugula Pesto Tortellini.

Variations: Use whatever vegetables you have in your garden. Eggplant, mushrooms, and yellow squash are nice additions to this dish. Substitute thyme, parsley, tarragon or your favorite herbs for the basil and oregano. You can lighten this dish by omitting the oil and butter and using a non-stick skillet.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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Open Face Smoked Salmon Sandwich

On these hot summer days, I just don’t feel like cooking. An open face sandwich and a side salad usually make a great lunch or dinner. No stove required! My cool and refreshing Open Face Smoked Salmon Sandwich hits the spot on a hot day, and won’t heat up your kitchen. And it’s a great opportunity to use some fresh dill from your garden or your local farmer’s market!

Open Face Smoked Salmon Sandwiches served with a Tomato Arugula Salad with Tarragon Balsamic Dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Open Face Smoked Salmon Sandwiches served with a Tomato Arugula Salad with Tarragon Balsamic Dressing (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

This sandwich is so easy and elegant that your dinner guests will think you’ve slaved all day in the kitchen. And along the “elegant” theme, I like to use creme fraiche to lighten up an otherwise heavy cream cheese spread. You can find creme fraiche at your local grocery store, usually in the dairy section, and sometimes in the specialty cheese section.

Creme Fraiche is a French-style cultured cream (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Creme Fraiche is a French-style cultured cream (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Softened cream cheese and creme fraiche are whisked together with freshly squeezed lemon juice, finely chopped fresh dill and minced shallots. The cream cheese mixture is slathered over thick slices of soft pumpernickel bread. Whole Foods Market carries a large round loaf of pumpernickel in the bakery section. If you don’t see any fresh pumpernickel loaves, be sure to ask at the bakery counter. They’re spectacular. You could also use a thinner sliced and more dense version of pumpernickel bread with a similar result.

Spread the herbed cream cheese mixture on the pumpernickel slices (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Spread the herbed cream cheese mixture on the pumpernickel slices (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And finally, the crowing glory: Smoked salmon slices. Layer some smoked salmon slices over the herbed cream cheese mixture. Top with a few sprigs of fresh dill and a few minced shallots.

Layer the smoked salmon slices over the herbed cream cheese (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Layer the smoked salmon slices over the herbed cream cheese (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Serve these open face sandwiches alongside a ripe tomato, arugula, and tarragon salad with my Tarragon Balsamic Dressing.

No-Cook Meal of Smoked Salmon over Herbed Cream Cheese on Pumpernickel with a Tomato Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

No-Cook Meal of Smoked Salmon over Herbed Cream Cheese on Pumpernickel with a Tomato Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

It’s a no-cook summer lunch or dinner! Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Open Face Smoked Salmon Sandwich

Ingredients:

6 oz cream cheese, softened, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 c creme fraiche
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 c minced shallot, 1 T reserved for garnish
salt and pepper, to taste
4 large slices pumpernickel bread, sliced 1 inch thick
8 oz smoked wild salmon
fresh dill sprigs

Method:

1. Whisk together the softened cream cheese and creme fraiche.
2. Stir in the lemon juice, chopped fresh dill, and most of the minced shallot.
3. Season the cream cheese mixture with salt and pepper. The mixture should be creamy but not stiff or runny.
4. Divide the cream cheese mixture amongst the four slices of pumpernickel bread. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the bread slices.
5. Divide the smoked salmon amongst the four slices of bread.
6. Garnish the smoked salmon sandwiches with the dill sprigs and a sprinkling of minced shallot.
7. Serve!

Serves 4. Offer with a side salad of ripe tomatoes and peppery arugula with my Tarragon Balsamic Dressing. Assembled sandwiches can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, unstacked, in a tightly sealed container.

Variations: Use fat free cream cheese. Substitute sour cream if you can’t find creme fraiche. Use parsley or tarragon instead of dill. Use your favorite bread instead of pumpernickel. And you can substitute thinly sliced ham, turkey, or other cold cut for the smoked salmon.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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Summer Picnic Menu

Summer is upon us. It’s time for weekend barbecues, block parties, and pool events. What about an old-fashioned summer picnic? Pack up a picnic basket for two or for twenty.

A picnic on the lake (Photo Credit: Flickr.com)

A picnic on the lake (Photo Credit: Flickr.com)

Be sure to take along a picnic blanket and some citronella spray or candles to keep the insects away from your feast.

Take a look at some scrumptious suggestions for my Summer Picnic Menu. Offer with my Simple Iced Tea, or take along a bottle of wine or champagne, and some chilled beer and sodas.

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Summer Picnic Menu

What’s a picnic without deviled eggs? Try my Deviled Eggs Mom-Style. These are the deviled eggs that I grew up on.

Deviled Eggs Mom-Style (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Deviled Eggs Mom-Style (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And everyone loves My Favorite Guacamole. Make a large batch of guacamole and serve with tortilla chips or a veggie tray.

My favorite creamy Guacamole served with crispy Tortilla Chips (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My favorite creamy Guacamole served with crispy Tortilla Chips (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My Bleu Cheese Dressing makes a fabulous thick dip for garden vegetables.

Serve Bleu Cheese Dressing as a dip along with a plate of garden vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Serve Bleu Cheese Dressing as a dip along with a plate of garden vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Since it’s summer, there’s nothing more refreshing than a chilled soup. My Tomato Basil Soup takes advantage of summer tomatoes and fresh basil. Serve it chilled in a cup for sipping.

Sippable Tomato Basil Soup for a Party!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sippable Tomato Basil Soup for a Party! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My healthy Colorful Chopped Salad is a great choice that travels well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Colorful Chopped Salad with kale, tomatoes, roasted corn, carrots, celery, herbs, and more (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Colorful Chopped Salad with kale, tomatoes, roasted corn, carrots, celery, herbs, and more (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The most popular recipe on A Food Lover’s Delight is my Dill Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing. Use fresh dill from your garden or the farmers’ market.

Dill Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Dill Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Another salad that travels well is my Citrus Shrimp Couscous Salad. Make this salad the night before so the flavors can meld and enhance. Serve chilled. You could make little individual salads in glass Mason jars for easy serving.

Chilled Citrus Shrimp Salad topped with Toasted Pine Nuts is a tasty summer dish  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chilled Citrus Shrimp Salad topped with Toasted Pine Nuts is a tasty summer dish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sockeye Salmon Burgers: Easy sandwiches that you can make ahead and serve chilled with lettuce and tomato.

Salmon burger served with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.  Onion rings on the side.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Salmon burger served with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Onion rings on the side. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Offer the chilled Sockeye Salmon Burgers with The Best Tartar Sauce or a garlic aioli or another of my Flavored Mayonnaises.

Flavored Mayonnaises - Honey Mustard, Roasted Red Pepper, and Truffle.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Flavored Mayonnaises – Honey Mustard, Roasted Red Pepper, and Truffle. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

A quesadilla that’s far tastier the next day is my Smoked Pork Quesadilla with Green Chiles. Make several the day before and chill them. Offer some jarred chipotle salsa or my fresh Tomato Salsa for dipping.

Smoked Pork and Green Chile Quesadilla served with Chipotle Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Smoked Pork and Green Chile Quesadilla served with Chipotle Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Tomato Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Tomato Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

For dessert, try my fabulous Chocolate Chip Brownies! Use your favorite chocolate chips and feel free to double the amount. Slather with Nutella for extra decadence.

Chocolate Chip Brownies made more decadent by a slathering of Nutella (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chocolate Chip Brownies made more decadent by a slathering of Nutella (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And to drink — I like a Simple Iced Tea — Made with Sunshine! Use your favorite tea bags and drink it sweetened or unsweetened.

It's easy to make sun-brewed iced tea!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

It’s easy to make sun-brewed iced tea! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Order a lovely picnic basket from Amazon.com with upscale service for four and a picnic blanket!

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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Chocolate Chip Brownies

Who doesn’t love brownies? Chewy chocolatey wonderful goodness. My favorite Chocolate Chip Brownies make a regular appearance at summer picnics and casual dinners. They’re also known to appear on my dessert table during the holidays.

Chocolate Chip Brownies.  Great plain or with frosting.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chocolate Chip Brownies. Great plain or with frosting. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

This recipe uses powdered espresso for richness. Also, lots of butter and bittersweet chocolate. And I like to top them with a big smear of Nutella as a sort of “frosting.” Use regular semisweet chocolate chips, or mix it up with some white chocolate chips or even butterscotch chips or Reese’s peanut butter chips.

Chocolate Chip Brownies with Chocolate Sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chocolate Chip Brownies with Chocolate Sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Start out with your favorite bittersweet chocolate. You can use the widely available Baker’s chocolate or find a fancier chocolate such as Ghirardelli.

Baker's offers a good bittersweet chocolate (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Baker’s offers a good bittersweet chocolate (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Ghirardelli makes a fancy bittersweet chocolate (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Ghirardelli makes a fancy bittersweet chocolate (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

You’ll need to coarsely chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes for easy melting.

Chocolate and butter for the brownies (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chocolate and butter for the brownies (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over low heat until smooth.

Melt the butter with the chocolate over a double boiler on low heat (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Melt the butter with the chocolate over a double boiler on low heat (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The butter and chocolate have melted (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The butter and chocolate have melted (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whisk together eggs, white and brown sugars, agave syrup and vanilla.

Four eggs in a bowl (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Four eggs in a bowl (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whisk together the eggs, sugars, vanilla, and agave (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whisk together the eggs, sugars, vanilla, and agave (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir until smooth.

Stir the chocolate butter mixture into the sugary egg mixture (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Stir the chocolate butter mixture into the sugary egg mixture (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Stir together some flour and salt in a bowl.

Stir together the flour and salt (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Stir together the flour and salt (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture.

Mix the flour into the batter (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Mix the flour into the batter (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Stir in some chocolate chips.

Two kinds of chocolate chips -- dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Two kinds of chocolate chips — dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the chocolate chips to the batter (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the chocolate chips to the batter (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And pour the batter into a pan.

Brownie batter in the pan (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Brownie batter in the pan (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 – 40 minutes depending on whether you like chewy or cakey brownies. Remove them from the oven and cool completely.

Brownies, baked and hot from the oven  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Brownies, baked and hot from the oven (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

When cool, remove from the pan, remove the parchment paper on the bottom, and slice into squares.

Slice the brownies into equal squares (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Slice the brownies into equal squares (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chocolate chips aplenty in these brownies (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chocolate chips aplenty in these brownies (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some Nutella or other chocolate frosting and devour!

Chocolate Chip Brownies made more decadent by a slathering of Nutella (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chocolate Chip Brownies made more decadent by a slathering of Nutella (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Chocolate Chip Brownies

Ingredients:

8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate squares (or a combination), coarsely chopped
1 T powdered espresso
1 c unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T agave syrup
2 t vanilla
4 large eggs
1 c semisweet chocolate chips

Method:

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper for ease of removal of the brownies after baking.
3. Melt chocolate, butter and espresso powder together over a double boiler over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
4. Whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl.
5. In a large bowl, whisk sugars and agave syrup with the vanilla and eggs until just combined.
6. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, stirring slowly until combined well.
7. Whisk in the flour mixture, then stir in the chocolate chips.
8. Spread the batter in the baking pan.
9. Bake until top is shiny and set and sides have begun to pull away slightly (a wooden pick or skewer will not come out clean), about 30 minutes for fudgy brownies; or until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 40 minutes for more cake-like brownies. Your oven may perform differently so keep watch on the brownies and use the baking timeframes as guidelines.
10. Cool brownies completely in pan on a rack. Remove brownies to a cutting board, remove parchment paper, and cut into squares.

Makes 9 large brownies. Slather with Nutella or your favorite chocolate frosting, sprinkle with cocoa powder, or just eat them plain. I prefer this recipe with Nutella “frosting.”

Variations: If you are a nut lover, add your favorite chopped nuts to this recipe. Swap the chocolate chips for Reese’s peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, or white chocolate chips. Stir in some chopped coconut for a different flavor.

Buy espresso powder and Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate at Amazon.com!

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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Pepperoni Mushroom Pasta

For that pepperoni pizza flavor in a pasta dish, try my Pepperoni Mushroom Pasta. A simple sauce of pepperoni, mushrooms, sweet onion, garlic, red wine, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and tomato sauce simmers while you heat the pasta water. This is a simple weeknight dish that your family will love!

Pepperoni Mushroom Pasta with Shredded Parmesan and Basil Chiffonade (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Pepperoni Mushroom Pasta with Shredded Parmesan and Basil Chiffonade (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

For the penne pasta, heat some salted water in a large stock pot. Meanwhile, chop up your favorite pepperoni. Cut up some mushrooms. I used quartered cremini mushroom caps. You could use chopped portabellas or sliced white mushrooms.

Chop the pepperoni and quarter the mushroom caps.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chop the pepperoni and quarter the mushroom caps. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Saute some diced onions and minced garlic with olive oil in a pan until the onions have sweated and are soft. Add the pepperoni and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have softened slightly.

Saute the onions, garlic, pepperoni, and mushrooms (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Saute the onions, garlic, pepperoni, and mushrooms (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning and some red wine. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the red wine and diced tomatoes and simmer.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the red wine and diced tomatoes and simmer. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add tomato sauce and some agave syrup and simmer for another 10 minutes. (The agave syrup will offset the acidity of the tomatoes.) Add the cooked drained penne to the sauce and toss.

Add the cooked penne to the sauce and toss. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the cooked penne to the sauce and toss. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Plate the pasta.

Plate the pepperoni mushroom pasta.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Plate the pepperoni mushroom pasta. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil leaves. Serve!

Hearty Pepperoni Mushroom Pasta.  Top with shredded Parmesan and some chopped basil.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Hearty Pepperoni Mushroom Pasta. Top with shredded Parmesan and some chopped basil. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

As a baked casserole option for a pot luck dinner, you could bake this pasta with a topping of mozzarella cheese. Just cook the pasta for 3/4 of its cooking time, drain, and mix with the prepared sauce in a baking dish. Add the cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until the pasta is hot and the cheese is brown and bubbling. After baking, top with the shredded Parmesan and chopped basil to serve.

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Pepperoni Mushroom Pasta

Ingredients:

8 oz penne pasta
2 T olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz pepperoni, coarsely chopped
8 oz mushroom caps, quartered
1 c dry red wine
1 c diced canned or fresh tomatoes
2 t dried Italian seasoning (can use dried oregano or basil instead)
2 c tomato sauce
2 t agave syrup or sugar
2 oz butter (optional)

2 T shredded Parmesan
2 T chopped fresh basil leaves

Method:

1. In a large stockpot, heat lightly salted water to boiling. Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
2. While the penne is cooking, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat.
3. Once the onion is soft, add the pepperoni and mushroom caps. Saute until the mushrooms are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the diced tomatoes, red wine, and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add the tomato sauce and agave syrup, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
6. Add some salt to taste. Stir in the butter.
7. Add the drained penne pasta to the sauce. Toss.
8. Divide the pasta amongst the serving dishes.
9. Top with shredded Parmesan and chopped basil. Enjoy!

Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a pasta course. Serve with a side Caesar salad and some toasty garlic bread. A nice dry red wine pairs well with this dish.

Variations: Use gluten-free pasta. Add some sliced black olives, diced red bell pepper, or even some Italian sausage. Offer as a baked pasta dish topped with melty cheese.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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