Decorating is endless.
Cooking never ends.
Gardens are always changing.
And best of all shopping goes on and on!

Hence the name,
Open Ended!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Friends~Good Food~Good Wine

There's nothing better!

My oldest and dearest friend Gina, her husband, Phil
and their son, Gabe came by for dinner Saturday night.

She brought me this.....

It was a wonderful get-well gift for little o'l me!!

And...I just had to show it off cuz it's just so stink'n cute!!

Thank you so much my friend!!


I decided to pull out my new go-to meal!
Everyone needs a go-to meal don't you think?
Mine used to be a Creamy Chicken Enchilada dish.
But I have served that to almost everyone by now.

So it was time for a new one!
I found this one in a this cookbook.
Which I have talked about before!

It's really pretty simple.
If you like pasta with Vodka sauce
then you'll love this healthier version just as much!!

Penne alla "Not-ka"

Serves 4
Calories per serving: 371

2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes in juice, pureed in a food processor
Pinch red pepper flakes
8 ounces penne
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons evaporated nonfat milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the penne.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the 2 teaspoons oil with the garlic over low heat until the garlic begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, cover, and cook
until the onion is softened, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer very gently 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and evaporated milk and simmer 1 more minute.

3. Meanwhile, after the sauce has cooked 5 minutes, add the penne to the boiling water and cook until just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water. Add the drained penne to the saucepan and simmer until the penne is al dente, 1 to 2
minutes, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if the mixture is dry. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, along with the basil and black pepper.

4. To serve, divide pasta among 4 serving bowls. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Since I can't get away with a meatless dish.

I cut spicy Italian sausage and
Italian chicken sausage in to 3 in. diagonal pieces.
Then cook it in a little olive oil.
And serve it on the side.

Now add....
alittle salad, some french bread a great bottle of wine and
you've got a perfect go-to meal!