I hate to say it, but sometimes finding the time to cook can be the most difficult part about cooking. I myself struggle after work to make dinner sometimes. Thankfully, there are some dishes that are so easy to make that they can be made after a long day at work, and still have time to do dishes, and watch a movie on Netflix.
Pasta is one of those dishes. I love making pasta on weekdays because it is delicious, fast, cheap, and can be made in abut a thousand different ways. Also, making pasta is a great way of turning leftovers and various refrigerator items into a great meal. The best part about making pasta is that the time saved making it can be better be spent enjoying it! My favorite is spaghetti or bucatini with a fresh tomato sauce and a hard cheese such as parmesan or pecortino. Simple and delicious. Here’s how I make mine:
Weeknight Pasta With Tomato Sauce
1 box spaghetti or bucatini
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion
3 tbls olive oil
5 cloves garlic or roasted garlic (check the link for a great recipe)
3 tbls unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
hard cheese such as parmesan
Put a pot of water on high heat with 5 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, cut an onion into a small dice and sautee on low heat in a saucepot until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Add in tomatoes, and crush with a spoon to release all the liquid. simmer for another five minutes. By now, your water should be at a boil. Add in the pasta and cook for the time specified on the box. Should be about 9 minutes. You will know it is done by tasting a noodle. It should have a pleasant chew, but not be brittle. Drain into a colander, but save a quarter cup of the cooking liquid. Add the liquid back to the simmering tomato sauce and pulse in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot and season with salt, pepper, and butter. Now toss the pasta in the sauce and serve with plenty of cheese.
The beauty of this recipe is it’s simplicity. The ingredients are simple, but brought together make something more than it’s individual parts. Plus making your own fresh tomato sauce will taste better than anything you can buy in a store.
If you want to save even more time, cook the noodles and sauce ahead of time. Once your noodles are cooked, toss them in olive oil and save in an air tight container. Now all you need to do is heat up your sauce and toss in the noodles just like before. It will taste just as good as if you made it fresh. Actually, a lot of restaurants use this method of precooking ingredients to cut back on the time you have to wait for your food. So take a page from their book and try it at home. Don’t forget the cheese…