A fast pasta dish is such a glorious way to end the day with friends and family. I open some wine (we call it "work wine" in my house), chop some veggies, start a pot of boiling water, and halfway pay attention to what I'm doing while catching up on all the poop that went down throughout the week. Plus, it's comforting food and, without the meat, not too heavy before bed. Here are my absolute favorites when I'm too tired to cook, but too cheap to order pizza:
Pasta with broccoli, lemon, and capers
1 cup broccoli florets
1 small lemon
½ pound dry spaghetti, linguine, etc.
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoon capers (or roughly chopped olives)
Salt and pepper to taste
bread crumbs and grated Parmesan for serving
Bring a pot of salty water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, with the addition of the raw broccoli (if using frozen, add the last two minutes or cooking).
Meanwhile, in a serving bowl, combine the juice and zest of the lemon, capers, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in and stir to combine.
Drain cooked pasta and toss with the dressing in the serving bowl. Put some bread crumbs and cheese on the table for sprinkling
I list some no-cook pasta sauces in this blog post, too; all you have to do is cook pasta and chop a little bit.
It doesn't get easier (or more gluttonous) than Bittman's version of Pasta alla Norma, published in NYT.
Whaat?!?! Lentils and mushrooms in pasta sauce?! And if you keep some cooked lentils ready in the freezer, you can whip this up in no time.