Plenty of Penne


Made another delicious recipe that’s actually good for you!  Shocking, I know!  The problem is keeping to the portions since it’s so damn good.  It’s supposed to make 4 servings….my fiance and I finished all of it in a single meal….oops.

The nice thing about this one is that it uses stuff that you probably already have in your pantry.  Penne, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, Parmesan cheese, and salt.  The only things you’ll probably need to buy are the cherry tomatoes and some fresh basil, if you’d like to use that instead of dried.  I used fresh and I personally think it’s a much better flavor than using dried.

Another nice thing is that this recipe is super easy!  While your pasta is cooking, you’ll make your sauce.  Heat the oil in a large skillet, and then add your garlic and red pepper flakes.  Let that cook a little bit, just until your garlic becomes fragrant.  Add your tomatoes and cook them just until they start to wilt a little, which should only take a minute or two.  Add your pasta and let that all cook together for about another minute.  Add the basil, cheese, and salt.  Bam!  You’re done!  You get a delicious dinner!

According to this recipe, for a 1.25 cup serving, it’s only 371 calories.  If you serve it with a small salad of 2 cups mixed greens with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar for dressing, it’s still only 399 calories.  A full homemade meal for under 400 calories!  Pretty dang awesome, in my book.  If you want to add some meat to this recipe, some bacon or crumbled Italian sausage would be pretty yummy.


  • 8 oz multigrain penne
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Recipe is from Flat Belly Diet!:  Family Cookbook by Liz Vaccariello and Sally Kuzemchak (2010).  I’ve been going through and making recipes from this cookbook in my efforts to eat healthier, so expect to see more from this book.  So far, everything that I’ve made from it has been delicious.  Sometimes I eat it too quickly to take a picture, haha!  For instance, tonight I made a chickpea ragu with polenta from this book.  Delicious, but I didn’t get a picture….Maybe next time.


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