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Meg's Valentine's Day tomato and basil pasta recipe

Meg's Valentine's Day tomato and basil pasta recipe

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This is such a simple yet delicious dish that can be thrown together in 15 minutes. Don't waste money on 'all in one' pasta sauce jars when you can create the authentic Italian experience with fresh ingredients. This is the perfect Valentine's Day meal, according to Mr Stone!

Sussex, England, UK

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 200g pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Pinch sugar
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:20min

  1. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a non-stick pan. Fry the onion for 3 minutes. Chop the garlic and add to the fried onion, saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes. Throw in half the basil and stir.
  3. Heat a large pan of water and add 1/2 a tablespoon of salt. When the water begins to boil, add the pasta and cook for 10 to 11 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining salt and sugar to the tomato sauce and stir well.
  5. Drain the pasta and add to the tomato sauce. Garish with extra basil leaves and serve with grated Parmesan. Delicious!

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

See it on my blog

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Meg's Valentine's Day tomato and basil pasta recipe - Recipes

  1. Lauki/Bottlegourd/ Dhoodhi - 1 Medium size
  2. Toor Dal - ¾ cup
  3. Turmeric powder - ¾ tsp
  4. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  5. Salt
  • Peel and cut the Lauki into two halves. Scrape out the middle portion. Wash well and chop them into small cubes.
  • Wash the toor dal two-three times drop them in the pressure cooker. Add the chopped lauki to the cooker aswell.
  • Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, salt and few curry leaves. Close the cooker lid and pressure cook. When the first whistle is released simmer the gas stove to low-med and let it pressure cook for another three-four whistles. Switch off the fame and let it coo down completely.
  • Open the cooker lid, stir the veggies and dal with a laddle, add the sliced onions, tomatoes and green chilies and let it boil for five-seven minutes till tomatoes and onions becomes soft. Check for the salt and adjust. Remove from the stove.
  • Heat up a small pan for tempering. Pour oil, add the mustard, when the mustard start to crackle add cumin followed by chopped onions, curry leaves and red chilies. Saute well till onions turns brown(don't make them very dark brown)
  • Pour them over the cooked Dal. Add some chopped coriander leaves if desired. Serve warm with rice/roti.


Delicious looking dhal,love to have it with white rice.

Churaykka curry with Dal looks delicious. I made kofta with them.

Looks utterly delicious. Love to taste..

one of the delicious accompaniments to plain rice!

great with rice.. will try this next time

Lauki adds a nice flavor to the dal, I like it!! Yummy!!

simply yummy.. easy and delicious dal..

thats a very healthy dish. even i add this to sambar and make kootu (lauki and dal stir fry).

Fingerlicking super comforting dal curry.

Even I make this often, looks very good..

Nice and delicious curry for rice..
Shabbu's Tasty Kitchen

very inviting and delicious looking dal.

healthy and delicious dal

healthy,simple and delicious.lovely recipe

i use to do almost the same dal with yellow pumpkin n chayote, haven't tried with lauki. sounds so delicious. looks inviting too!!
Spicy Treats

Comfort dal,love to cook this way,this looks so delicious.

Hi there, thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a note on my recipes and posts. Your thoughts are really valuable, they are my energy boosters, so let them keep flowing. Browse around for more recipes, please feel free to leave your suggestions if any.
Hope you enjoyed your stay at Cook-Ezee, visit us again.

Meg's Valentine's Day tomato and basil pasta recipe - Recipes

In order to get some work-related things done, S. invited several important people to dinner last night. Yes, he could have just taken them to eat somewhere. However, everybody liked the personal touch and things went very smoothly -- S. is very happy with outcomes. I can't say much here but organization/industry he is working for encourages snobby behavior so I am happy that both S. and I are well on the way to be accepted as equals. Not an easy feat, for sure! This simple dinner was another brick in that road to success.

I was extremely busy this week, having to finish my own work-related stuff, but this dinner did not take long yet, it was delicious. Try it! :)

I am not providing full recipes here unless I made changes. However, links are included. Sorry there are no pics -- barely had enough time to put everything together, no time for pics.

Assorted veggies (cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli florets, baby carrots) and several salad dressings (French, Blue Cheese, and Ranch -- what we had in the fridge, lol)

Very simple -- chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, olives on shredded romaine lettuce, seasoned with salt/pepper and olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. I used shallow soup bowls (fit in the fridge better than salad plates) to make individual salads, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated until time.

I made breadsticks using this recipe. I added 2 tbsp crushed rosemary, made dough in the breadmaker, shaped into breadsticks, let rise for 1 hour, and baked 20 mins at 400. Brushed with butter.

I actually just posted this recipe. This time, I made my own Alfredo sauce. Also, last time chicken was a bit dry so I added 1 tsp of butter to the bundles, to keep chicken moist and sprayed with butter-flavored spray for a nice golden color.

Cheese Ravioli (I did not have time to make my own but Mona's Cheese Ravioli from Publix are awesome). I added 1/2 stick garlic herb butter (Publix) to the bowl of pasta, for extra touch.

Alfredo Sauce
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed (you can mince but then sauce won't be as smooth)
1.5 cup heavy cream
1.5 cup milk
½ cup parmesan
½ cup romano
6 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté garlic. Heat milk and cream until simmering. Turn off heat and mix in cheese. Mix a little of milk mixture into yolks, then slowly add EGG mixture into milk mixture. Heat on low heat, mixing well until thickens.
Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake
What an awesome cheesecake! I added a topping of chocolate liquer whipped cream: whip 1 pint of heavy cream with powdered sugar -- add to taste (

1 cup), then add some Godiva Chocolate liquer -- again, to taste (

1/4 cup). Also, I garnished with grated chocolate for a finished look. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or, even better, overnight.

We had a variety of sodas and juice. Also, we have Tassimo machine and made lattes, cappuccinos, Earl Grey tea, and regular coffee.

Everybody was happy -- well, plates were clean and people were taking seconds and thirds, a good indication, right? One divorced guy even asked us for some leftovers. I found that both hilarious and sad -- this guy can afford any restaurant and you could see he was embarrassed to ask but said he absolutely loved everything and wanted more of the homemade stuff. Well, thank you, sir! :)


When I tell most people we are on a low carb diet- i.e. less than 50g per DAY, they first ask me if I’m crazy. Yes. Yes I am. Second, they say that they could never do it, they love bread, fruit, -insert carby thing here- too much. I also love bread (see Oh Hello Sour Dough, parts one and deux) and carby things (see all of the other recipes on here). With our recent experiments in low carb cooking, I’ve learned some very valuable cooking lessons.

Low carb cooking is not for the faint of heart. It requires integrating new techniques and ingredients into your repertoire that you may not have expected.

1. The more spices or seasonings you add, the better
In regular cooking, you can rely on the regular ingredients to contribute to the dish. Pasta, rice, bread, etc all add a certain subtle flavor that you’ll miss if you don’t crank up the flavor dial. For instance, if you are making a lasagna: use vertically sliced zucchini layered with grated smoked mozzarella and pungent pecorinos and some asiago, home-made tomato sauce with lots of basil and balsamic. Using the best dried spices you can find also helps, use your schnoz. If you can barely smell it, the flavor won’t be so bright either. Visit a Penzy’s, ethnic market, or bulk foods store so you can pick them out. Think about the ingredients you use before you use them and what they could add to the dish if they were slightly different.

2. If you are adapting recipes, lower your expectations
Don’t expect artificial sweeteners to act like sugar, nothing else acts exactly like potatoes do, don’t expect Shiraki noodles to have the same consistency as pasta. You’re just setting yourself up for failure. Aim low. They’ll be close, and will probably satisfy your craving, but as Marvin and Tammi say “Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby”. If you’re really jonesin’, indulge, don’t beat yourself up about it, and get back on track asap.

Oh and if you are using Shiraki noodles, rinse the crap out of them, microwave them, then rinse them again i.e. follow the directions on the pack. It’ll get rid of the feet smell the noodles normally have.

3. Bob and his Red Mill are your new best friends
Bob’s Red Mill will make just about everything you need for baking. Here’s what I like to keep around: Almond meal, Coconut flour, Flax meal, Vital wheat gluten- unless you are gluten free, xanthan gum or powdered arrowroot, and soy flour. Maybe throw in a chia seed if you’re feeling adventurous, I sure am. The wheat gluten helps make things chewy rather than sandy, if you’re going for sandy cookies or crumbly muffins, great. Have a blast. If not, add the wheat gluten, xanthan gum, or arrowroot. Oh, and Xanthan gum is something that comes from evil corn, not something Martian children chew. Just thought I’d clear that up.

4. Think about textures
Using breadcrumbs is required for many recipes from coating fish to pan-fry to mixing into a casserole to add bulk and texture. Last time I checked, bread crumbs are made from bread, so they are off limits. Almond meal and flax seed meal crisp up almost as well, plus they add fiber and nutrients to an otherwise unhealthy coating. Flax meal will thicken up just as well as any breadcrumb within the casserole, and a mix of almond meal and finely grated Parmesan, toast up for a crunchy topping. Almost anything you can think of will have a low-carb equivalent or close match. I make a creamed spinach/kale/chard casserole and you could probably never tell the difference in mine and my mom’s. Except mine is better..tasting and nutritionally. If you are going for a custard-type feel, get to know unflavored gelatin.

5. Extracts give the best-acts– boooo.
In the place of fruits, their extracts will give you the closest thing to their flavor that you’ll get. If you plan on keeping some kind of sweet things in your diet, keep the flavor but nix the carbs by using extracts or edible essential oils in their place. When making low carb pancakes for instance, melt together a half tbsp of butter, 3 tbsp granulated splenda or artificial sweetener of your choice, a splash or two of almond milk, and 1/4 tsp maple extract as your syrup. If you like a stronger maple flavor, add more extract.

6. Use Soy flour SPARINGLY
Pretty straightforward. If you get a little overzealous the whole thing will taste like a wet cardboard box. Always cut soy flour with something else. Or better yet, don’t use it at all, go for a flavorless protein powder.

7. Manipulate vegetables to use as substitutes
Turnips or rutabaga make a pretty close substitute for mashed potatoes, chayote squash makes a pretty decent apple sub- with added spices, summer squashes make decent pasta subs- grated into noodles or sliced thin, cauliflower can be grated into rice, Spaghetti squash- pretty obvious,use seedless cuke slices or celery sticks with your dips

8. Cheeses and Dairy are your friends– sorry vegans.
You should keep with you some Ricotta, ground parm, mascarpone, cream cheese, and other shredded cheeses that are aged- your faves. Ricotta, mascarpone, and cream cheese can go savory or sweet. Keep these to a minimum, though, there are hidden carbs in cow’s milk, and less fermented or aged cheeses. Try alternative milks like goat or sheep products. Just about all of the barnyard animals make things that you can and should use.

9. Don’t be afraid to experiment and/or fail.
How will you know how the flavors will interact or the textures will act in different situations if you don’t give it a go? Give peas a chance. Try different produce to get the same effect. If it doesn’t work out? Take mental or real notes, analyze what you could do different, adjust for next time. If it does? Yep, you totally meant that to happen the whole time. You’re a genius.

10. Have the right tools to make it happen
This is a basic idea that can apply to all cooking, but having a few items help make this diet easier. A mandoline, a grater that can do strips or strings, a hand masher, an immersion blender, and a food processor can make your life alot easier.

Since Mardi Gras and Valentines Day are both coming close, and sweets are encouraged- I leave you with a low carb truffle recipe so you can have your valentine’s and eat it too.

Flavored truffles
4 oz unsweetened chocolate- Dagoba
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 c coconut milk- unsweetened
1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
3-4 tbsp splenda or other granulated sweetener
1 tsp vanilla extract

for decoration and flavor: Chopped nuts or unsweetened, toasted coconut flakes, unsweetened cocoa powder and a pinch or cinnamon- mixed

Add the unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, coconut milk, coconut oil, and coffee granules in a small saucepan. Heat over low fire, and stir until it becomes a smooth. Remove from heat and add the spenda and vanilla. Transfer to a deep plate or a shallow bowl. Refridgerate until slightly firm. Scoop by the teaspoon and roll between palms to form a ball. Roll in desired decoration like nuts, coconut, or cocoa mixture. Place in individual cups in a pretty container and give it to someone special.

Alternate flavor options:
Berry truffle- Raspberry or Strawberry extract, add after mixture is removed from the heat- 3/4 tsp, roll in crushed freeze dried strawberries or chopped almonds
Tropical orange- Orange extract- add with vanilla-1/2 tsp- roll in coconut
Pecan pie- Rum extract- 1/2 tsp add with vanilla in recipe, roll in chopped pecans
Peanut butter banana- banana extract, 1/2 tsp added with vanilla- roll in chopped peanuts
Maple bacon truffle- add 1/2 tsp maple extract and roll in salted bacon bits

No-Bake Gingerbread Men Cookies

The holidays are approaching, so we’ve come up with a recipe for a no-bake version of a very classic treat. Say hello to these cute and fiesty little gingerbread men… shaped like ninjas, because why not? All you’ll need to recreate this festive goodie is a handful of ingredients and a dehydrator. Keep on reading for the lowdown!

  • 1.5 cups dates (pitted and soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 0.5 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  1. Blend dates until a paste-like texture is formed. Set aside in small bowl while you complete next step.
  2. Blend raw almonds, rolled oats , flax and spices until a fine, ground texture has been reached. Combine with dates by folding “dough” repeatedly with hands.
  3. Roll out the combined mixture with rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper. Ensure that “dough”is at least of 1/2 inch thickness.
  4. Use cookie cutter to shape your cookies. Repeat the rolling process until all is used.
  5. Place the cookies in a dehydrator at 150 F for 2 hours.

Enjoy! Yields 10-12 cookies.

Meg's Valentine's Day tomato and basil pasta recipe - Recipes

  • 500 - 750 gm. chicken ( with or without bones )
  • 2 cups plain yogurt, hang in a cheesecloth for an hour until most of the liquid is drained out
  • 1 tsp. ginger & garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • Pinch of yellow / Tandoori color
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 700 gm. tomatoes ( peeled, chopped & blended to a smooth paste )
  • 1 tsp. ginger & garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves ( Qasuri methi )
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 75 gm. butter
  • 40 ml. cream
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Green chillies, sliced

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix well to coat.
  • Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add chicken with marinade, cook covered, on a low heat until chicken is tender and the water dries out.
  • While the chicken is cooking, place blended tomatoes in a separate pan. Cook on medium heat until the water dries out.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except cream, cook on low heat for few minutes until the butter has melted.
  • Add cooked chicken & cream, mix well and cook for a minute.
  • Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with coriander leaves and green chillies.
  • Serve with Naan or rice.

I would like to thank Shobha of Food Mazza and Preeti of Indian Kitchen for sharing these wonderful awards. Please visit their awesome blogs and check out their delicious recipes. I am offering this award to all my readers, for their continued support and encouragement. Thank you once again Shobha ji and Preeti :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

500 Members!

We just hit a big milestone: Boston Food Bloggers now has 500 blogs listed! Here are the latest additions to the list check them out and make them feel welcome!

Boozy Brunch by Tania Rangel: "Your guide to a fabulously shaken (not stirred) way of life."

Boston Food Deals by Phil Hunt (@bostonfreefood/Facebook): "My blog will help you find free and highly discounted food in the Boston area. Occasionally I will throw in a free non-food item. Enjoy!"

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Cooking with Coley by Nicole Lawler (@nicolelawler/Facebook): "More than just a recipe blog, Cooking with Coley is a destination for home cooks to get inspired – whether it’s making a dish healthier or experimenting with a new ingredient. I live by two mottos – any dish can be healthier without sacrificing flavor and anyone can cook if they just give it a try. Not only do I invite you to test a recipe yourself, but I challenge you to try to get creative in your own kitchen."

The Eats: "kteb and cdog decided to log their encounters with great things they have eaten or think about eating – which pretty much is all the time. they like food. they like to drink. they like to blog. it only made sense for this blogging relationship to become something of its own."

Finding clairity (@findingclairity): "There's a lot about food here. In an attempt to reign in a sugar addiction, I removed white sugar and dairy almost completely from my diet. I sweeten primarily with stevia, sometimes using small amounts of minimally processed sugars, like raw honey. Making this change has also encouraged me to eat healthier in general, and I follow a mostly vegan diet as well. My general food philosophy is to eat as much fresh produce and unprocessed, organic foods as possible. But I've also learned that I am more likely to stick to a healthy diet if I don't feel compelled to, so I occasionally indulge, and consider it part of my wellness plan."

Fitness and Feta (@fitnessandfeta/Facebook): "A Greek girl's guide to healthy living and a happy life."

Food Beautiful by Janet Kalandranis (@foodbeautyful): "There's nothing more comforting than Sunday dinners around a large Greek family. Food is a focal point of each day and of every occasion. I live for the smell of fresh herbs, the sight of an heirloom tomato and the ability of a bowl of pasta to connect a group of people. Here's my real food blog that makes a celebration out of every meal!"

Kait's Inside Dish by Kait Capone (@KaitsInsideDish/Facebook): "As of January I am back to the bean town. I plan to blog about the many local restaurants (both about the vegan friendly offerings to the restaurants simply offering a vegan option by chance) I also plan to post recipes inspired by the local Boston flavors. My blog is unique because it focuses on healthy vegan recipes and dining reviews based on my travels."

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Watch the video: Kikis leckerste helle Soße für Nudeln. 15 Minuten Nudelrezept. Mittagessen Ideen (January 2023).