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Easy Delicious Dinner Ideas

A Pretty Perfect Weekend

October 13, 2017

Well, I seem to be surviving the departure of my daughter.

At first, I wondered if I’d ever be alone because right after my daughter left, my son came and visited for a couple nights, but I was alone last weekend, which left time for an old friend to come and stay over and for me to finally clean my daughter’s room the way I’ve been dying to clean it for — oh about four years.

So, after maniacal cleaning on Saturday, I got to relax with Allegra. Then we got up, read the paper, had lattes, went to breakfast and I came home to a house that was still clean. I was so happy, I left to go to the mall and bought a couple little things I needed.

Then I went to see the movie, Victoria and Abdul, and for the first time in my life I actually admitted (without someone coercing me)  that I am a senior citizen to get the stinking discount. Senior citizen is defined as 60 at this theater — what kind of crap is that? It was always 65 and now suddenly, timed to make me feel older and more decrepit, it’s 60. C’est la vie. My minor irritation was overruled by my happiness at saving three bucks.

Then I got myself popcorn and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Afterward I came home to a house that was still clean, and made some wonderful pasta for myself because, hey, it was Sunday!

If you’re noticing a theme here, it’s because I’ve spent so much time cleaning that I never really had much time to do what I wanted to do, but I can see things leveling out now and I’m very OK with it.

Plus, I have a wonderful, simple pasta dish for you to try.  It was pasta with a fresh tomato sauce with shallots, fresh basil and a little cream and mushrooms. I was going to just have the mushrooms as a side dish at first, but they were a great addition to the pasta, so I went for it. It’s good either way. I remember watching someone make this simple sauce probably 30 years ago and I remembered it for its simplicity and its wonderful flavor.

Then I got to sit, eat and watch Netflix. Relaxation in my clean house was so great, I sat there beaming. It reminded me of being in my 20’s, making myself a great meal, then soaking in the bathtub with a glass of wine and thinking, man, life is great.

It was then, and still is.

Pasta with Fresh Tomato, Shallots, Basil and CreamGreat cu pasta

1 large red tomato

2 medium shallots thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup whipping cream

6 medium basil leaves chopped

6 large mushrooms

2 Tbsp. butter for the mushrooms

1 Tbsp. Fresh parsley finely chopped

2 Tbsp. port wine

1/2 lb. pasta of your choice

Salt and pepper

Fill a pot with water for pasta and heat it to boiling. While the pasta water is heating, heat another small pot with water and let it boil.  Take the large tomato and submerge it in the boiling water for about 30 seconds.  Remove the tomato and peel it. Then cut the tomato in half – width wise and squeeze the seeds out. Once the seeds are mostly out, chop the tomato into small pieces, less than an inch in size and set them aside.

In a saute pan heat the butter until melted and add the mushrooms until they have given off their water. Add the port wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Then add parsley and set aside.

Next, heat the oil and butter.  Add the shallots and saute until translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix together with the shallots and saute for about 5 minutes. The tomato will give up some juice. When the juice has cooked down a bit, smash some of the tomatoes with your fork and add the chopped basil, then add the whipping cream and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

While you are making the sauce,  boil the pasta until done.  When cooked, drain most of the pasta and put it into the pan with the sauce, add the mushrooms and mix together thoroughly.  If you like your pasta with lots of sauce, then don’t add it all. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with grated Parmesan or Romano and chow down!Good CU pasta.JPG




  • Reply
    October 24, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    It is amazing to me that when we reach this point in life, the calm and quiet, are almost unbelievable. And you do wonder how you carried out the schedule you had for years. Enjoy your time, look forward to visits from the kiddos and friends, and realize you are that creative person because they say the creative person has a little bit of disorder as they create! The disorder is the validation of the creative Fran! Enjoy! I printed out this fresh pasta recipe. It sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Mary J. Tunno
    October 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Sometimes it’s hard knowing when you are the only resident, that “you” are the one responsible for the mess. Agh! 🙂 One day, a cleaning lady would be delightful, don’t ya think?! 🙂 See ya before too long.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 22, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      I refuse to acknowledge that possibility. I’ll blame Topper for the dishes before I blame myself!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Looks great and tasty 🙂

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 14, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you. It really is, and so simple to make too.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    The pasta: yum. The serenity of a clean house with no one threatening to dismantle your efforts: priceless. Besides discounted movie tickets, “seniority” also means our kids have grown up and we get to focus on ourselves again. At least until we get a needy phone call, or their sweet faces come home and shatter the quiet (and make our hearts soar as we welcome them in). I am glad the transition has been smooth. <3

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 13, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      You know so well. Thank you Linda, for always being one of my best and wisest supporters! xoxo!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 8:08 am

    It really is something to come home to a clean house and relax! Glad you are finally reaping some delightful rewards of time.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      October 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      It really is wonderful. I forgot just how great it can be, and am looking forward to spending some time on me for a change! xoxox – coffee!

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