They’re so important to me these days. I have hobbies now and I’d much rather be knitting Negra a dog sweater or crocheting myself something than standing over the stove cooking a complicated meal, especially after a long, 8 hour workday. I just don’t have it in me anymore to have all these dinner components spread out across my kitchen counter. I want to eat something fast, load the dishwasher, shower, get into my pajamas, find a nice, soothing true crime show on the tv and play with some yarn for a few hours before I have to go to sleep and start it all up again in the morning. So quick dinners – I need ’em in my life. Here’s a good one.
Fill a large pot with water, salt it, bring it to a boil. Dump in some whole grain penne and let it cook until it’s al dente. Drain, etc. etc.
Meanwhile, chop up a link of Italian sausage (sweet or hot, it’s up to you). Chop up some onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic. Lots of garlic. Saute all this stuff in some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook until the onions have softened and slightly browned. Now at this point you can add some crushed up San Marzanos, some oregano and basil, some more garlic and salt and pepper and simmer it altogether while your noodles are cooking OR you can be like me and MEAN IT when I say I want a quick damn dinner and open up a jar of Barilla’s All Natural tomato and basil sauce and dump its contents into the sausage-onion-pepper concoction and heat it all up together. I certainly won’t judge you if you do so. Mix the saucy sausage stuff with the cooked, drained penne, top with some grated parmesan, and serve with garlic bread (if you want) and a side “salad” of sliced red onion, tomato, cucumber and red bell pepper strips with a quick red wine vinaigrette (this is literally just finely minced garlic, a few grinds of my McCormick Italian seasonings mix, some olive oil, salt, pepper and a big splash of red wine vinegar whisked altogether because even if I will do jarred tomato sauce, I draw the line at store bought dressing, dammit) spooned on top. Dinner is done and fast. Happy yarning (or however you spend your free evenings).