knives and forks: red brie pasta sauce

Yesterday I opted for a quick, easy dinner. I taught my first class that afternoon, and although only eight students showed up, having eight faces look at you expectantly and/or glazed over for an hour takes it out of you. Especially when you’re a newbie teacher like me and aren’t completely sure of what you are doing.

When I need a quick dinner idea, I like to go to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. And she did not disappoint.

Red Brie Pasta Sauce (with zucchini and tortellini)

Red Brie Pasta Sauce, adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

INGREDIENTS:
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or a different hard cheese, such as Grana Padano)
4 ounces Brie cheese, outer rind removed, cubed

Combine the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes in a saucepan. Fill the tomato can with water, swirl a bit to get all the tomato and pour into the pan. Let it simmer for five minutes, stirring every so often, until it’s reduced a bit. Add your Parmesan cheese and stir often. Let simmer for another couple of minutes. Stir in the Brie until it melts, and serve over pasta.

(For a treat, I made this with tortellini, but you can do any kind of pasta you have. To add veggies, I sauteed zucchini with just a bit of smoked garlic in a separate pan.)

And then, to make it even better, I had this for dessert.

Yes, that is vla. And yes, that is the Zuivelhoeve brand. Sometimes it’s just really good to find things from home, wherever you are. Even if it’s just a Dutch dessert in your German grocery store.

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