Quick, Inexpensive, and Pretty Healthy Pasta

So I needed to eat today right? I have paid my bills and have gone to a few parties this weekend, and in NYC that means I spent all my cash, so I needed to eat cheap!
I went to the grocery store and didn't know what I wanted, I just knew that I wanted something hearty, and something that I could make quick because I have a busy day. I thought that I would get some rice pasta because I am trying to cut down on gluten, but they only had regular pasta, and I cracked. I got some thick spaghetti, and can of diced tomatoes. I thought about what I could add besides cheese, but cracked again and decided I needed cheese. (can you tell I have no will power some times?) So I got some Mozzarella, and then wondered to the frozen food section to get some peas to try to make this a little more healthy.
Here is what I did in a few easy steps to make a quick, but substantial and pretty meal on just under $12! And although I am eating alone, this can feed 4 people if you made the whole box of pasta, and upped to amount of all the other ingredients.
First, in a pan heat up a some olive oil on medium. When hot, add a few cloves of diced garlic and a few pinches of red pepper flakes.
Then, when the garlic is cooked, about 3-5 minutes, add the diced tomatoes. It was just me so I used a 14oz can, but use a larger can if you are eating with others. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
While that cooks, lower the heat and start to boil water for the pasta. (Add salt to the water)
I had some basil growing on my terrace, so while the water boiled, and the tomatoes simmered, I picked some basil, and cubed some of the Mozzarella.
When the pasta is done cooking, use tongs to transfer the pasta from the water to the sauce. I like to let some water get into the sauce because the starch that comes off the pasta will help the sauce come together. Then add about a cup of the frozen peas, some roughly chopped basil, and the cubed Mozzarella, and toss together.
That's all there is to it. The heat from the sauce and pasta will cook the peas, and the cheese will melt just enough, but not be too stringy. When I plated I garnished with a little parsley too.

Now I have to run, but let me know if you make this, and what you think.

Also, on a side note, this post is my 100th, and I want to thank you all for reading my blog over the past couple of years. I can't believe how much it's grown... More that I ever imagined!



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