This meal is not the cheapest and most certainly NOT the healthiest (which is why I would recommend serving this meal only 2-3 times a month, at the very most!) but it is easy and fast and tasty. And it combines especially well with homegrown garden veggies 🙂
All you need is:
1 box of pasta (mini farfelle or rotini are what my kids like)
1 jar of pasta sauce (a tomato and basil or a roasted red pepper sauce works best, I think)
1 stick of unsalted butter
First, take a big dutch oven type pot. Fill it with hot water and add the box of pasta, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil. Bring it all to a boil and let cook for 7-9 minutes, depending on how well cooked you like your pasta.
When the pasta is done, drain in a colander. While the pasta is draining add the stick of butter to the still hot pot and then dump the pasta on top of it. Let sit for about 2 minutes to give the butter a chance to melt, then stir until butter is fully melted. (To get the butter to melt faster you can cut it up before adding to the pot.) Dump in the jar of pasta sauce and mix really well. Serves at least 7 hungry people, maybe more!
During the gardening season, I like to make a stir-fry of garden veggies in a skillet while the pasta cooks…things like sweet Italian frying peppers, onions, garlic, summer squash, and zucchini..and then top each serving with the stir-fry and a generous dusting of Parmesan cheese. I then serve it up with a garden salad of homegrown baby lettuces topped with homegrown homemade goat cheese.
Alternatively, I also make a creamy pasta dish by using the stick of butter, 1/4 cup of flour, and 3-4 cups of our goat’s milk to make a medium white sauce, seasoned with garlic and onion powders and salt and pepper and a dash of mesquite smoke flavor, in the big dutch oven type pot while the already cooked pasta drains in the colander. I then add the pasta back to the sauce and heat over very low heat until it all thickens up (about 7-10 minutes). This is especially good with fresh garden green peas, sugar snap or snow peas, or fava beans or lima beans, lightly steamed and then mixed in at the very end. Again, I serve it with a nice garden salad of mixed baby greens, but this time I top each salad with a chopped up hardboiled egg from our hens.
And there you have it, the quickest meal I know! 😀