Easy Penne Pasta with Tomato Sauce

For me, there are very few meals more comforting than good old pasta with thick and flavorful tomato sauce. This dish seems very basic; it actually is. It consists of only six ingredients: olive oil, butter, onion, garlic, crushed tomatoes, and a handful of excellent Italian penne (I don’t count salt and chili flakes). The secret is to use the best ingredients you can find and cook pasta to a perfect al-dente. Yes, as easy as that. If you’re looking for a quick-fix meal for dinner, this pasta is ore than simply perfect. It will take you under 30 minutes to make, but the flavor and texture are incredibly satisfying.

The love for this pasta comes from my childhood when my mom would make it for me after her a long and restless day at work. She was never shy of using garlic in this one. Since then, I’m absolutely in love with a smell of freshly crushed garlic sizzling in hot oil. In summer, she would use fresh tomatoes from our garden, and in winter, we would open a can of our homemade crushed tomatoes vividly red as a communist’s flag of a country that doesn’t exist anymore. I haven’t had this pasta in more than two decades, and I can’t describe to you how much joy it brought to me (hello nostalgia). I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. Make it for someone you love and spread joy.

Easy Penne Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Yields: 2 portions

Ingredients

  • 2 cups penne pasta, about 8 oz
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small chopped yellow onion, about 1/2 cups
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste
  • salt to taste

Method

  1. Melt the butter with olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the chopped onion, cook over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook stirring for 15 more seconds. Then pour in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer - season to taste with chili flakes and salt. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium pan of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne until al dente about 10 to 11 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and save 1/4 cups of cooking liquid.
  3. Add the pasta along with the cooking liquid to the tomato sauce stir well to coat and cook together for 1 more minute to merge the flavors.
  4. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve right away.

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