So today turned out to include a crappy morning. I was supposed to have LASIK surgery today, but my nerves got in the way too often. (If anyone out there has ANY advice on that, my problem was I thought too much, so I could really use the help.) I felt horrible as we walked out of the building and the loopiness had finally just hit me as we went out for lunch. I think people thought I was drunk because my dad kept a good grip of my arm.

Anyways, after the Valium-induced nap, I needed to reboot my self-esteem so I found some leftover penne because we store random pasta in the pantry. Well, I think my specialty will be Italian food because I just put stuff together for pasta. I used all the penne we have, which totaled one perfect pound (3/4 wheat penne, 1/4 regular). We had tomato basil soup (from when I freaked out about when I made it from scratch and bought from the store as a backup), which I didn’t know I could use as pasta sauce, but my mom said it was okay to use.

I used a random recipe, but just as a reference as to which ingredients I might need for the standard pasta dish. I think it was pretty good, so here’s my (hopefully original) recipe, called “Ginny’s Pretty Penne”:


  • 1 1/2 turns of olive oil (or just make an “e”)
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 mini red peppers, chopped
  • One 19-oz. Progresso Vegetable Classics Tomato Basil Soup Can
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 2 to 4 string cheeses, grated (for serving)
  • 1 pound penne pasta


  1. Add olive oil in cast-iron skillet on high.
  2. Add onion, garlic, and peppers; lower heat to medium. Mix.
  3. After it browns a little bit, add soup. Stir. Add salt and pepper. Set aside on low heat.
  4. Boil pasta in salted water. Once almost 100% soft, drain and add to tomato soup mixture.
  5. Reset heat on medium-high and mix. Sprinkle parsley and stir. IMG_3560IMG_3561
  6. Serve hot and individually add a blanket of cheese on top (as requested by gourmands). IMG_3562

I predict that this serves 4 to 6 people. I was going to name it “Ginny’s First (Hopefully Original) Penne Recipe”, but I actually did have a first hopefully original recipe posted before. It was the one with the cavatappi.

When I chopped the onions, my mom thought it would’ve been better to mince them, so I just minced them with the garlic. I was going to go with 1 whole onion and 4 cloves of garlic, but it was way too much, so I decided to half that.

I think it could’ve used more peppers though. Doubled at least.

I know that saying “handful of parsley” isn’t really helpful, especially since I have tiny hands, but I just figured it’s the fresh green ingredient, so it doesn’t matter if you over- or under-do it. Personally, I don’t think it added to the taste, but that probably just means my palate isn’t too good yet. I just wanted the greens to make it look pretty. (Hehe, I guess that means it’s the “pretty” in the “Pretty Penne”.)

As for the string cheese, it doesn’t matter what type of cheese. Dad wanted mozzarella, but we didn’t have that. We had lots of string cheese though, so I had to substitute.

Students, I grant you permission to try this out for yourselves! If something goes wrong or you have any questions, feel free to comment!


4 thoughts on “7/17/16

  1. Your pasta looks delicious. As for the nervousness about lasik I don’t have the answer. If you took a sedative and it didn’t work then maybe it is the doctor. Having been through breast cancer and dealing with many physicians I cannot stress how important it is that you feel 100 percent at ease with the people caring for you. Just a thought. Have a great day and enjoy your pasta.


    • Firstly, I’m sorry you had cancer! I hope you’re in full remission by now.
      Secondly, I wouldn’t really compare eye-correcting surgery with a life-saving procedure. I just get squeamish when something gets near my eye unless I have an option to close it, which I obviously did not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. I think I would blink too. If I remember correctly they had to hold my eyes open just to puff the air in there at my exam. totally in remission for over 10 years.

        Liked by 1 person

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