I realize my posts have been few and far between lately.  I’m sorry for that.  I completed the first semester of my third year of grad school (yay me)!  I’ve also been a busy bee planning my upcoming wedding, which will be next spring.  And amazingly enough, I found “THE DRESS”.  I have been looking and looking at hundreds of dresses and all have been good, but none of them great.  I would like the top of one dress, but the bottom of another. The dress would be too plain, or it would be too blinged out. I was beginning to worry that I wouldn’t find “the one” that fit every need I had. But luckily I found it and couldn’t be happier.

 I’ve also taken on the extreme challenge of cleaning out my closet, which is proving to be more difficult than I realized.  You know that favorite pair of jeans you’ve had for the last 10 years but can’t get rid of because you love them too much, they fit perfectly, and you mistakenly didn’t buy two pairs when you should have, and even though there is a gigantic hole in the crotch you find ways to justify keeping them? Yeah..I’m having that problem. Or I keep saying to myself, oh I’ll wear that again someday…(even though it’s been sitting dormant in your closet so long it has permanently stuck in the shape of the hanger).  Letting go is hard, man.

This recipe came to me in my sleep, oddly enough.  If you were to look in my freezer right now you’d find nothing but ice cubes, nuts, and butter.  In my fridge some water and some condiments are all that fill the shelves.  And in my pantry, soup and pasta.  It was amazing that I could make a complete dish.

This is a meatless pasta dish, but I found it to be hearty enough without.  It would be good with some chicken breast tossed in, or some bacon.  Mmm bacon.  

Penne Rigate with a Chunky Basil Pesto Sauce:

12 ounces (or 3/4 of a 1 pound box) Penne Rigate

1 tomato, seeded and diced

1 small red onion, chopped

1 roasted red pepper, diced

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed 

3/4 cup prepared Basil Pesto

Parmesan cheese

olive oil

salt and pepper 

In a large pasta pot, bring water to a rapid boil.  Salt the water generously then dump in the pasta, cooking until tender but with a bite to it still (about 8-10 minutes).  Meanwhile in a saute pan, drizzle in a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Once the oil gets warm add the onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute the onion for a few minutes over medium to medium high heat until the onions are soft.  

Next to the mixture add the red pepper and the tomatoes.  Again season with a little salt and pepper, and allow to cook for a few minutes until everything becomes soft.  Next add in the pesto.  The mixture will be thick.  So, take a ladle full of the pasta water and add to the pesto mixture.  Add by the ladle full until you get the desired thickness that you want.

Once your pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pot.  Pour the pesto mixture over the cooked Penne and toss.  Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese.  Eat hot, or at room temperature.