Something that has been immensely helpful in my motivations is the presence of dining companions. Jaimeson and I switch off on dinner duties and when he's not here, I have Molly. As it stands, I have tried out today's highlighted foodstuff on both of them. On weeknights. Fancy-free.
Look at that. Lots of stuff. Specifically, say it with me, everything but the kitchen sink. I doubt that I'm the first person to try the combination out but it was new to me and it's an official standby now.
First things first, remove the following from your freezer:
- Bulk bag of pine nuts (can be pricey but totally manageable from Costco)
- Bag of frozen peas
- 1/2 link Smoked turkey sausage or kielbasa (frequently buy 1, get 1 at my Jewel)
- Fresh spinach (I always have this. Always.)
- 1/3 cup Low fat ricotta cheese
- Shredded parmesan
- Farfalle or Bowtie pasta
- 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Ground Pepper
- Kosher salt
In a saute pan, toast a handful of your pinenuts, counting on a half handful per eater. That's how we measure around here. These will burn so throw them in once your pan is hot and toss them twice in a minute or two before pouring them into a prep bowl and setting aside. Meanwhile defrost a half a bag of peas in a measuring cup in the microwave. Cut your sausage into medallions and saute those until slightly tanned then add the fresh spinach till it just barely starts to wilt. Shut off the heat, add your pine nuts back in along with the peas.
Drain your pasta, add the ricotta and olive oil. Stir to coat. Add everything else, stir, put in bowls and sprinkle a little parm over the top.
Now marvel that only 18 minutes have gone by since you started. It tastes even better now. Easy but perfectly sweet and smoky. Great textures and reasonably light if you go easy with the parmesan. Warms up nicely for a Wednesday lunch. Or breakfast if you're extra excited about lunch.
But don't get too far ahead. Reward your personal weeknight efficiency with a modest scoop of vanilla ice cream with a glorious splash of raspberry wine over the top. Bask.