20 minute dinner: Pasta with roasted pepper tomato sauce, steamed sugar snap peas

I'm usually pretty good about planning our meals for the week, but tonight I was scouring the pantry at 5pm trying to figure out what to cook. Surprise: the result pleased everybody, took hardly any time to prepare, and looked nice on the plate. Certainly better than our usual standby: Morningstar Farms Vegie Dogs and canned corn.

Serves 4 modestly — it's enough for us because my kids eat, like, a teaspoon of sauce each.

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I use the chopped stuff in the jar, add more to taste)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 t. fresh basil (I buy frozen cubes of fresh, chopped basil at Trader Joe's. This is, possibly, one of the greatest convenience foods ever.)
  • Barilla Pasta Plus, your favorite shape, cooked

Saute the chopped onion in olive oil till soft. Add garlic, stir for a minute, then add the tomatoes and peppers. Cook for about 10 minutes minimum, longer if you feel like it. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. A few minutes before serving time, add the basil. Puree if you like (when they're willing to eat sauces, my kids seem to prefer uniform texture), serve on top of cooked pasta. My kids like parmesan on top, I like good-quality feta.


Dump a bag of (overpriced) prewashed sugar snap peas into a microwave container, add a splash of water, a shake of salt, and a pinch of sugar. Cover and nuke for 2-3 minutes. The peas should be bright green, lightly steamed, but still crunchy. Drain, toss with a bit of butter, serve.


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  1. Priti says

    I tried your recipe yesterday and the sauce was Yummy. I added my favorite soy meat balls from TJs to the sauce. My family loved it. Thanks for posting this one.