Even if you love to cook, dinner can be a chore. When it’s 6:30 and everyone is starving, it’s hard to come up with an interesting meal. At least one of these recipes is bound to get you out of your pasta rut.
Caesar Salad Sauce
If you love Caesar Salad, here’s a twist. If your kids are unaware of the “anchovy factor,” send them off to play while you assemble this recipe.
- 1 16 oz can plain tomato sauce
- 2 T. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 anchovies, chopped into itty-bitty pieces
- 1-2 C. chopped spinach
- 5 T. panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
Heat tomato sauce over medium heat. Melt butter in a small skillet. Add garlic, spinach and anchovies. Toss in large bowl with pasta. Toss again after adding cheese and bread crumbs.
There is nothing authentically Asian here except maybe the soy sauce. Watch them eat. This pasta is great cold for lunch the day after IF you have leftovers.
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1 T. brown sugar
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2-3 T. peanut butter
- 1 16-oz. package frozen stir fry vegetables
- 1 T. Olive or sesame oil
Heat olive oil. Add garlic. Add in frozen vegetables. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, and peanut butter. Add a bit of hot water from the pasta if peanut butter is too stiff. Dump bowl into skillet. Mix well. Toss pasta and sauce/veggies together. Serve with skinny carrot sticks, cucumbers and chopped peanuts.
Caper Crusader Sauce
Holy Batman! This is a fresh, light sauce that is easy to change to suit your family’s tastes. If you’re feeding children, make a mini salad bar of optional add-ins for this recipe – leftover chicken, pork, seafood, olives, spinach, carrot slivers and red pepper flakes.
- 1/2 C. olive oil
- 3 T. butter
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1 T. grated lemon peel
- 1/4 C. lemon juice
- 1/4 C. chicken stock
In a deep skillet, melt olive oil and butter. Add garlic and lemon peel, saute. Add lemon juice and chicken stock, heat to boiling. Reduce heat and toss in pasta. Add in a little jerk seasoning and leftover diced chicken, pork or seafood.
Super-easy if you have a food processor. If not, chop ingredients to a fine consistency and use a stick blender to smooth out sauce. This is a great teach-your-10-year-old-to-cook recipe. Supervise, but let them take charge.
- 3 oz. parmigiano-reggiano
- 8 oz. sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-2 C. (loosely packed) chopped, fresh basil
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Chop it up, put in food processor or in a bowl. Add a bit of hot water from the pasta and blend until smooth. Toss with pasta. Add extra Parmesan cheese.
(All recipes suit one pound cooked pasta.)