Home sweet home! That is how I’m feeling this week after a whirlwind of travel over the previous two. Over the last 12 days, I have gone on three different trips. Two were for fun, one was for work (but was secretly still pretty fun). First, I went to Philly with my mom and sister for my cousin’s wedding. It was a whirlwind trip but tons of fun. We stayed in the heart of downtown, got to see the Liberty Bell, eat a cheesesteak- ya know, the obligatory Philly stuff! Also got to see family which is always a major plus.
The next trip was to Daytona Beach for a quick school food expo- got to see some pretty cool new products and equipment. Staying right on the Atlantic ocean isn’t too shabby either. From there, I drove down to Orlando to see my sisters and go to a concert- Florence and the Machine. This also happens to be Lauren’s favorite band, so she made an appearance in Orlando as well 🙂
It’s hard to get back on track with grocery shopping and cooking at times like these. You come home on Sunday as a weary traveler to a barren wasteland of a kitchen. No fresh produce in site. Mustering up the energy to do a large grocery shopping after that feels nearly impossible. And that is why I love recipes like this. Chances are, you have some canned tomatoes and pasta in your pantry (and perhaps a dusty bottle of vodka in your liquor cabinet) to whip up this lightened-up take on vodka sauce. With just a quick stop and the store for a couple ingredients, you can make a healthy and home cooked dinner. Traveling also makes me crave healthy food- my body just needs it after several meals away from home! This Vodka Penne with Zucchini and Arugula is quick to make, contains whole grains, lots of nutritious tomatoes (did you know canned tomatoes have more prostate cancer preventing lycopene than their fresh counterparts?), and best of all, it makes a great leftover!
If you have someone in your family that requires meat with all meals (seems like there’s always one), this pairs well with chicken or beef mixed it. I even mixed in some mild Italian sausage once. Personally, I love a good vegetarian meal a couple times per week. I hope you do too!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 2, 8 oz cans tomato sauce
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 medium zucchini
- 13.25 oz box 100% whole grain penne pasta
- 3.5 cups fresh arugula
- Parmesan cheese, optional
- Add oil to medium saucepan.
- Add minced garlic and saute for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add vodka, diced tomatoes (do not drain), tomato sauce, basil, and sugar. Combine. Cook on medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While sauce is cooking, begin cooking pasta according to box instructions.
- Reduce heat on sauce and add cream. Combine.
- Slice zucchini into thin coin shapes, and then again into half moon shapes. Add to sauce and allow to be over the low heat about 2-3 minutes. Zucchini should still be firm, allowing the heat to only slightly soften it.
- Drain pasta and combine with sauce in large bowl.
- Serve pasta, topping with 1/2 cup fresh arugula and optional parmesan cheese.
- Makes about 7 cups pasta & sauce
- Calories: 315, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 6.5 g, Carbohydrates: 55 g, Fiber: 8.5 g, Sugar: 8 g, Sodium: 324 mg, Saturated Fat: 2 g