Easy Tomato Basil Pasta

Everyone has their go-to easy foods they eat when they’re feeling too lazy or uncreative to make something else. I know a lot of people are big on cereal or sandwiches.. I’m not. I don’t eat cereal or lunchmeat if I can help it and I really never have bread in the house anyways. I’m weird, whatever. For me, it’s pasta. Over time the recipe I use evolves, and it’s always a little different based on what I have in the house– but this is my basic lazy-day 20 minute pasta.

With no further ado, the goods:
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Pasta, EVOO, romano cheese, tomato, basil, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. It sounds like a lot but this is stuff most people have lying around everyday anyways (except maybe the basil).

First, boil your pasta, drain it, and return it to the pan (I like to mix everything together in the hot pan so it stays hot and gets kind of melty). I use Barilla Plus because it’s a bit healthier than normal pasta and I think it tastes really good. This is 1/2 cup dry pasta. It might not seem like a lot, but to me pasta isn’t really about the pasta, its just a toppings delivery device.
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I like to add in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and spices next. I use just over 1/2 Tbspn of EVOO, a and a few dashes each of salt, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Then I lay on fresh ground pepper pretty thick. I like to add this stuff first so it gets first crack at sticking to the pasta.
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Then throw in 1/4 cup of cheese. Romano is my favorite but you can use any italian cheese you have on hand. I’ve even been known to cut up string cheese and throw it in there if I didn’t have anything else.
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And last but certainly not least, 1 tomato diced and 8 basil leaves julienned. Have I mentioned I love fresh basil? Love love love.
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And there it is. Fresh, easy, healthy, and fast. My go-to lunch or dinner whenever I can’t think of anything else to make! Isn’t it pretty? And once you get everything in there it really bulks up to a hearty portion for lunch.
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Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry Barilla Plus Pasta
2/3 tbsn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Romano or other italian cheese
1 tomato diced
8 leaves fresh basil
salt
pepper
italian seasoning
red pepper flakes

Nutrition:
This recipe makes 1 serving. There are about 415 calories and 14 grams of fat. 7 of the grams of fat are from the EVOO, though, and are “heart healthy.” To reduce the fat, reduce or eliminate the cheese (which accounts for 5 grams of fat).

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