As this brand new school year is now going on about a week old, each succeeding week seems to get a wee bit busier for the Sweet Pea family. I think this easing into our school schedule is a blessing...if we were to go from the "zero" speed of summer to the "sixty" of school year, I might be sent spinning! But as we approach sixty this week, with the addition of our final activity to our weeknight schedule, I realize we are going to be doing lots of easy-peasy lemon squeezy dinners each weeknight.
I've already written about my love for my slow cooker, how it allows me to prepare a meal in the morning and then go about my day and have dinner waiting for me when the supper hour arrives. But another way I love to get dinner to the table quickly is using one of favorite ingredients: pasta.
Pasta cooks up super quick, and in a crunch, can be on the table in usually less than 15 minutes. Use the time while the pasta is cooking to come up with whatever sauce or accompaniments you choose. Need some inspiration? We love this easy way to do pasta on a weeknight, what we call Garlic Pasta.
Garlic Pasta uses an easy from-scratch lightened cream sauce and, you guessed it, garlic, as it's fantastic base. I usually add some sort of herbs and vegetables, a dash of parmesan cheese and whatever else we have on hand. Here's our favorite rendition, but feel free to alter to your hearts' content!:
Busy Night Garlic Pasta
3/4 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup skim milk
2 eggs, whisked well
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup fresh tomato (optional--can use another vegetable)
1/4 cup crumbled bacon (optional)
Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, bring the olive oil to medium low in a large skillet. Add the garlic, cook for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute, being careful not to burn it (burnt garlic tastes horribly bitter).
Reduce the heat to low and add the milk, eggs, salt and pepper, stirring constantly. Continue to stir and add the parsley.
Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet, tossing well to ensure full coating of the pasta with the sauce. Add the parmesane cheese
and then the peas to let the pasta and sauce "cook" the peas.
Serve and top with tomatoes (or other vegetable) and bacon, if using.
This is a great flexitarian meal if you have a vegetarian in your home, but other members of the family eat meat. It is perfect for families too, since you can customize the vegetables and other additions to the pasta to suit your family's specific tastes!
Life is sweet,