Moment of Vacation Zen


A-bay, HawaiiBeing a good blogger and traveler, I took some sweet aerial shots of our little island hopper planning departing from Honolulu. Imagine the coast line and Honolulu’s dense city skyline. Then to conserve battery,  I turned my phone off and preceded to place the phone on the seat next to me. Where it stay, until I disembarked and the phone was finally found by someone who (hopefully) needed it more than I.

The good part, it’s pretty freeing to be phone less. No one that needs to be texted, answers that can’t be easily found by just pulling up Google. (Although, Google, thank you for showing us the route to a delicious dinner in Hilo, courtesy of my parent’s phone).

The picture above is taken with the iPad, in a daring adventure I call operation read at the beach. Later that day, we wandered some of the area and found a small grocery store. Groceries purchased, we proceed to make a lovely and simple pasta dinner – local Hawaiian grown carrots and mainland kale included.

Vacation. It’s pretty blessed.

On an Island Pasta Dinner

  • 1.25 lbs ground turkey, chicken or beef
  • 2 lbs of penne pasta, or other short pasta
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large bunch of curly leafed kale
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 3/4 cup of chopped, fresh parsley
  • Red wine – whatever you have on hand
  • 1 jar of Newman’s Own Tomato Basil sauce
  • 1 small can of tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper, and crushed red chili flakes

In large saute pan, brown the meat. Add salt and pepper – about 1/4 teaspoon of each. Add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Cook the meat until totally browned through. Move the cooked meat to a separate bowl.

Chop the kale into rough stripes. In a cleaned saute pan, cook the kale until the color intensifies just a bit. Add salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes to taste. Set aside the cooked kale.

Chop the onions, carrots, and zucchini into an equal dice. Mince the the garlic.  In a medium warm pan, cook the onions with salt, pepper, and a little sugar for about 20 minutes, until translucent and starting to brown. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the veggies. Cook 2 minutes over medium heat before adding the jar of tomato basil sauce and the small can of tomatoes. Add the meat back to the sauce. Taste for seasoning. Add in your red wine. Cover and simmer at least 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the chopped kale.

Cook the pasta according to directions on the package. Check the pasta a few minutes before the package says it will be done. The cooked noodles should be a little chewy, as you’ll be cooking them a little bit with the rest of the sauce. Reserve one cup of pasta water. Once the noodles are strained, add them to the pasta sauce.

Combine sauce, pasta, and a little bit of pasta water if needed. Allow to cook together for a few minutes. Sprinkle the fresh parsley and serve.

Adjust the recipe depending on what you have in the house. We made this in our vacation rental, with minimal spices and seasonings. It does really go to show you how fresh ingredients and a  little salt and pepper (and red pepper flakes!) make for delicious dinner.

  1. Sorry you lost your phone!! But glad to hear that you are having such a relaxing time (and eating such delicious meals!) in Hawaii! 🙂


    • Katie said:

      Thanks, Annie! I only miss it for instant pictures…but the silver lining is now it’s time to upgrade :). Vacay is lovely…we went on a coastline jog yesterday and were lucky enough to sight some whales in the distance. Pretty spectacular!


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