Recently my life has been extremely chaotic with the result that I rarely have time or desire to cook a full meal. Basically, I'm about on par with your average working mother of two. I've really realized that preparing a meal for your self or others is not just about the time it takes to cook. You also have to figure in the time to plan, to get the ingredients, and to clean up afterwards. Once you add all those things together, take out or prepared supermarket meals really look reasonable.
For this meal, I decided to take items that I already had on hand (ergo, no shopping) and make them in one pot (making less mess means less clean up). I was inspired by some beautiful canned tomatoes from last summer and the idea from Mark Bittman to cook pasta in a similar fashion as risotto. Add some microwaved frozen broccoli or a salad to this rich, flavorful pasta and you've got a complete meal in less than 20 minutes.
4 cloves garlic crushed or minced
2 T olive oil
1 qt canned tomatoes
1 dried cayenne pepper (optional)
2 C pasta (like elbow or penne)
Parmesan cheese grated
Step OneSaute the garlic in the olive oil over medium high heat till it just starts to turn translucent. Add the entire contents of the tomato jar, including the juice. Add the pepper and the pasta and stir.
Step TwoTurn down the heat to medium and cover. Stir occasionally. The canned tomatoes should have almost enough liquid in them to soften the pasta, but add water if it starts to get too dry.
Step ThreeWhen the pasta is al dente (this will differ based on the type of pasta) serve with a sprinkling of cheese.
Effort: Easy, peasy
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings