Anyone else needing some comfort food on these dreary days we’ve been having? As much as I know we need the rain, it still puts me in a bummer of a mood some days. And what better way to feel better than to cook and eat something delicious? But to keep things real…in the words of our favorite “shrink” from FRIENDS, Roger…”Remember, they’re just food; they’re not love.” But I personally think it’s ok to love your food…as long as it’s the healthy stuff! And that’s one reason why I’m here – to show you all that healthy food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard. That is actually tastes better than the processed junk.

It’s no surprise that I love easy recipes. I’ve made that fact known. But I think what I love more, is a recipe that doesn’t dirty up a bunch of dishes, leaving me staring at a mountain of mayhem piled in the kitchen sink at the end of the night. What I really want (and let’s be honest…deserve) when the cooking and child-rearing is done for the day, is a nice glass of vino. Can I get an Amen?!

So when I stumbled across this one-pot recipe over at The Little Kitchen, I knew I had to give it a try! I made a few slight changes (basically because I was out of fresh Basil), and I think it still turned out great!

Out of basil? Never fear! I added just ONE drop of my Basil Essential Oil and it did the trick!


Look how pretty all those colors look all mixed together, cooking so perfectly and effortlessly.  I also would like to add that we don’t “do vegetarian” in our house. My Mountain Man (and myself) loves meat, and it’s usually part of every. single. dinner. But this was the 2nd meatless dinner I’ve cooked in the past month, and Mountain Man approves!

What You’ll Need:

  • 12-14 oz  whole wheat penne pasta (or really any pasta you prefer to use)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 medium onion – thinly sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional…we left it out since we were serving it to the kiddos)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1-2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • Basil essential oil (or a few fresh basil leaves)


Step 1: In a large stock pot, combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper (if using), spinach, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1.5 tsp salt and about 1/4 tsp of pepper), water, and 1 drop of Basil essential oil or 2-3 leaves of fresh basil leaves.

Step 2: Bring to a boil on medium-high heat.Stir often, until the pasta is done (about 10 minutes), and water has mostly evaporated.

Step 3: Season with more salt and pepper if desired, top with freshly shredded Parmesan…enjoy!

Look at that…a delicious, EASY, and healthy meal is done in about 15 minutes, and only dirtying ONE pot. I’m in love. And I think you will be, too. Bon Appétit!