In a perfect world, I’d print a recipe from the web (or find it in a recipe book), pull the ingredients out of my well-stocked pantry, and have dinner ready within 30 minutes. And the dishes would be magically done while we sat down at the table to enjoy a perfectly rounded meal at our leisure.
In reality however, you come home hoping you remembered to pull something from the freezer, struggle to find the recipe you planned to use and follow it. Get something on the table in under an hour (if you’re good and/or lucky or both), and eat it in front of the TV while ignoring the dirty dishes until there’s so many that you have to do them just to remember you have counter space. (No, we don’t have a dish washer. Thank you. We’ll rush right out and get one on your recommendation. And if you believe that … ).
Last night had an added complication: I didn’t want to cook.
I didn’t want beans and I didn’t want chicken. Having anything else in my kitchen right now requires some work. And I didn’t want to work. It was 6:30 and I was hungry but the only thing that appealed was take-out.
I dug about in the freezer and found a package of bratwhurst. They’re good sausages, but not too tasty. In the pantry I found an older bottle of vodka rosé spaghetti sauce. We have a ton of straight spaghetti (OK, ok, … 2 1/2 packs … slightly less than a ton.), but less than 1/2 a box of whole wheat rigatoni. (NOTE to self: Buy more whole wheat rigatoni, use up what I have for a lunch later this week. Hrm Vodka rosé on gnocchi with some kind of vegetable might be good too… nope. Not in the mood for gnocchi. Save the idea for a later lunch.)
I boiled the frozen sausages until they were thawed and barely cooked. I took them out and wiped the pan dry. I sliced the sausages into small rounds and tossed them back into the heating pan with a bit of olive oil. I thought about adding herbs at this point, but decided it was too much work.
I boiled water for the pasta.
Once the sausages got some color, it was my intention to add the sauce and scrape up all the wonderful brown stuff on the bottom of the pan. But I waited too long and the brown stuff went black. The sausage weren’t stuck, so I poured them out and into a shallow pot with the pasta sauce.
I added the pasta (breaking the strands in half), and set the timer for 8 minutes.
Digging about in the rotter (… I mean the crisper…), I pulled out a box of spinach and 1/2 a head of romaine. A little rinsing, a little dicing, and we had salad. The dressing was an italian bottle of Wellness.
When the timer went off for the pasta, I rinsed it in the sink in warm water and returned it to the pot for a moment. As it sizzled, I turned off the heat on the stove top, and added the pasta and sausage mix to the pasta and stirred.
I served it in bowls brought into the front room where we watched back-to-back old episodes of Stargate SG-1.
Not a perfect world – but at least, a good dinner.
1/2 bottle of spaghetti sauce (store-bought Vodka Rosé in my case)
6 bratwurst sausages
1/2 tsp olive oil
2 servings of straight spaghetti
1/2 head romaine lettuce, washed and spun
2 cups spinach, washed and spun
- Place the sausages in boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until gray and mostly thawed.
- Remove from the boiling water and cut into slices. Dump the water and wipe out the pan.
- Add the olive oil to the pan and bring up to a medium heat.
- Add the sliced sausages to the pan and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the sausages gain some color.
- Boil the water for the pasta.
- Dice the romaine lettuce and spinach, add into a bowl for salad.
- Set the timer for 8 minutes. Start it. Add the pasta to the water.
- Drain the sausages of any build up of oil.
- Add the pasta sauce to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate.
- When the timer expires, drain the pasta into a colander.
- Rinse the pasta well.
- Add it back to the pot.
- Add the sauce and sausage. Mix to incorporate.