I’m getting pretty good at this

Another successful meal made without a recipe! Sure, it may have been heavily reliant on Trader Joe’s packaged foods, but let’s ignore that for a moment. Driving home from work on Monday, I tried to envision the contents of my refrigerator: milk, shredded cheddar cheese, OJ, (expired) tofu, (expired) eggs… Not exactly the makings of a gourmet meal, or any meal for that matter.

Since I moved a few months ago and began living without a roommate for the first time in my life, I quickly learned that perishable food goes bad very quickly. It absolutely kills me to throw out food, so I’ve cut back the grocery trips to an as-needed basis and on Monday it was certainly needed.

Contrary to Hillary’s experience, I am a frequent shopper at TJ’s and an adamant supporter. True, their produce department isn’t extensive, but it’s got the basics. And I just love the global flavors and ethnic dishes they make available at pretty darn reasonable prices. That’s my plug for good ole TJ’s, but let’s get back to my Monday car ride.

So, I’m sitting in traffic, picturing my empty fridge staring back at me and all I can think of is tomato vodka sauce. I’m not a huge fan of marinara or red sauces in general, but an occasional tomato vodka can really hit the spot (must have something to do with the heavy cream…). I (briefly) considered making it from scratch, but the hunger pains felt otherwise and who was I to argue with a hungry stomach?

Luckily, TJ’s makes a handy jar of Tomato Vodka sauce that I combined with some chopped asparagus spears, fresh tomato and sliced mushroom. Poured over mushroom-filled tortellini, this was a dish that filled me up without being too heavy. The sauce was perfect – not too creamy, but plenty of flavor and I really enjoyed the veggies I had added in. It was certainly a quick and easy dinner (ready in less than 30 minutes!) that I will be making again.

PS If you are more adventurous than me (show off), try this recipe for Penne Pasta with Tomato Vodka Sauce.

PPS For a fantastic collection of Presto Pasta Recipes each week, check out the roundup at Once Upon a Feast.

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