It is absolutely the most common of knowledge that I dislike being in the kitchen. I hate cooking in it. I hate cleaning in it. I do like to stand in it though because my kitchen is kinda new and it looks really pretty. I also like to pour myself a glass of wine in it. Or make a margarita.
But cooking? Ugh, blah, gross, puke and plfffftttt (that’s the sound you make when you stick out your tongue and make a raspberry). My goal is to get in and get out asap. You know, like when those Army specialist guys or Navy Seals are on a mission to go get some terrorists or whatever? Just like that. Without the guns and stuff. And less blood. Well, maybe. If I am careful with the knife and remember to move my finger out of the way.
I have 10 thousand cookbooks. All collected through the years starting in 1992, the year I got married. Because I tried. I did. I tried to cook nice. After I had a cry-fest on my wedding night in the shower, because I totally freaked out that I had no idea what I was going to make this man of mine for the next forever, I snapped to.
I got out my cookbooks, tied on an apron and cooked like a madwoman for a solid week. I know exactly what DH thought. “Boy did I pick a winner. Good decision bucko, I’ll be fed for life and it will be good.”
Except it wasn’t. I hated it so much, I pretty much never did that fancy stuff again. I got by on tomato soup with those white milky specks (why does that happen?), spaghetti with sauce out of a jar and if DH was really lucky, frozen meatballs thrown in for good measure. There was chicken, chicken and more chicken that pretty much resembled shoe leather, and as a special treat…sloppy joes.
My philosophy is now this: Screw those cookbooks. Even though I still have them in the cupboard because you just never know even though I still, to this day, haven’t looked through 98% of them.
The meal has to have very little ingredients, require as little chopping as possible and be quick. If it tastes good, that’s a bonus. But it doesn’t have to taste good. Because then they won’t expect much so that could be a blessing in disguise.
So, get my point? The easier, the better. The faster, the even betterer and if I’m lucky, chinese food when everyone is sick of my cooking. Which is more than I care to admit. Actually, I don’t really care at all.
So, I will bestow to you my best meal ever. And my family loves it so much, I make it weekly with enough leftovers to carry over into the next night or longer. These people are lucky, I tell you.
I call this Sausage Pasta because I don’t know what else to call it and I’m really creative like that. I made this up by the way. Which is weird in and of itself because mostly I don’t know what I’m doing.
- Olive oil. I dunno…a couple of tablespoons, maybe?
- 1 box of Cellentani or Cavatappi or Ziti or whatever you like, al dente. Or overcooked like I do it because I always forget to take it off the heat before it reaches this stage.
- 1 lb of any kind of sausage you like. I like the pre-cooked chicken or turkey sausage that is usually flavored by something or other. Cut this precooked sausage into slices. If you use fresh, just cook it like you would cook ground beef.
- 1 can of cannelloni beans, undrained. The juice in this is what thickens the “sauce.”
- 1 can of artichoke hearts in water for less fat. Cut them up so it looks like you are getting more and getting your money’s worth.
- Capers. I use those cute little ones and I just pour them in until it meets my fancy.
- 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced not minced. But do what you want. I won’t tell.
- Salt, pepper and basil to taste.
While the pasta cooks, mix all of the above in no special order. Unless you use fresh (when I say “fresh” I mean the raw kind, not really sure how fresh it is) sausage, then cook that first. I’m not really sure why. If you really need to know, look it up.
Add to cooked, drained pasta and you have yourself a meal.
If you want to make it even healthier, add in some broccoli or whatever. But that’s an extra step and more work because then you have to wash it and cut it and cook it. So, just throw some on the side raw if a veggie is important to you.
There you have it. A meal that literally takes less than a half an hour to throw together. Don’t say I never gave you anything. You’re welcome.