Quick and Healthy Meals

If you are anything like me you have a tendency to overindulge on sweets and delicious foods available during the fall and winter holidays. As soon as January 1st comes around I make a resolution to eat better and exercise more during the year. Luckily my mom raised us on very healthy foods and I always watched her cooking in the kitchen, so I know how to make healthy and lean dishes. Actually sticking with the healthy plan while working and going to school full time can be difficult, but now I can’t use that excuse since I graduated last month. Still, one of my go-to recipes is an easy dish from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking called “Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter” that has been adapted on multiple blogs, and I frequently recommend this recipe to friends and family. All you need are 4 ingredients – it doesn’t get easier than that.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

serves approximately four people as a main

28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes *I usually use diced tomatoes*
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
salt and pepper
pasta

  1. Combine tomatoes, butter, and onion in a heavy saucepan (3 qt works well, but I usually double the recipe for lunch the next day) over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Discard onion.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with pasta. *I personally like penne with this sauce*

That’s all there is to it!

Here are other recommended cookbooks:

What are your favorite cookbooks to use during the week?

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Erin Seeger

I am the Lawn & Garden and Cooking Neighborhood Librarian who also leads the "Bean There, Read That" book discussion for folks in their 20s and 30s, facilitates the "Master Gardener" series, and the "Cooking by the Book" series at Garfield Community Center.

  • Carrie

    I will have to try this, it sounds too simple to be true! I have been loving a tasty Pasta Caprese dish that is light, very easy to make, open to variation and even better the next day. The short version: saute garlic (and onion if you want) in olive oil – cook some pasta – toss those together with fresh chopped tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes), basil, and mozzarella. Drizzle with the best olive oil you can find plus salt and pepper. Stir and let rest. As I said, it’s even better the next day and is good hot or cold.

  • Kathy Jennings

    Both Erin and Carrie’s recipes sound really good. I know what I will be making this weekend.