Pasta dishes make great pantry meals. Most pasta dishes are very forgiving and substituting ingredients for what you have on hand is a simple fix. I have many, many pasta dishes my family likes, but one of our favorites is Tomato Basil Pasta with Italian Sausage. It uses so many staples I have on hand all the time -- canned tomatoes, pesto, pasta, parmesan cheese, and sausage. However, it is easily adaptable. Don't have italian sausage? Use breakfast sausage or ground beef or chicken or leave out the meat all together for a meatless option. I have used every type of pasta imaginable in this recipe. My one piece of advice is to stay away from spaghetti. The sauce is thick and just won't hold on thin spaghetti noodles.
Tomato Basil Pasta with Italian Sausage
2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained
28 oz. pasta, cooked and drained
6 T pesto
6 T Parmesan cheese
1 lb Italian sausage, cooked and drained
salt, pepper, fresh basil to taste
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for 2 minutes. Add tomotoes and simmer for 10 minutes. While tomatoes are cooking, use a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon to break up the larger tomato pieces.
Season tomato sauce with salt and pepper, stir in pesto. Add Italian sausage and simmer 5 more minutes.
Pour sauce over hot pasta, mix well. Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
Linked to Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday