Surprisingly enough, I "do" cook, and have discovered that what I do manage to churn out of the kitchen that is not charred beyond recognition or still cackling or gobbling is quite good.
The "This really only takes 30 minutes" Pasta and meatballs - with sauce of course. :)
This has become one of Spencer's favorite meals...and mine too I must admit. Servings per ingredients as listed below - we usually have enough for a dinner for two, and then 2 more dinner portions and a lunch portion left over. It's all personal preference though as your servings may vary from mine.
Make sure you have the following pots, pans and food in house and ready for action:
Big pot for pasta, one large pan to make meatballs and sauce - that's all the pots/pans you need - seriously.
1 package of Trader Joe's frozen turkey or beef meatballs
1 28 oz can of Trader Joe's Marinara sauce
1 bag of your favorite pasta
1 med or large onion
1 med or large bell pepper
half a container of sliced mushrooms
some olive oil to cook up the veggies
bag of pre-washed salad leaves
Start your timer folks and lets get to it!!!
- Fill up your pasta pot with the appropriate amount of water, cover, put it on the burner, and crank it up!
- If meatballs are frozen, put on plate, cover and start defrosting in microwave.
- Place large pan on burner, at just above medium heat, add a bit of olive oil.
- Chop entire onion and add to pan - the oil should be hot enough by now.
- Chop entire bell pepper and add to the pan.
- Check water, keep an eye on your veggies.
- Meatballs should be thawed by now, cook on regular micro setting for a few minutes.
- Onions and peppers should be just about cooked, add the sliced mushrooms.
- Water should be boiling by now, add the pasta and set the timer.
- Your veggies should all be just about done, so open up that can of marinara and add it to the pan! Don't forget to lower the heat a bit and let it simmer while the pasta finishes - it's a good idea to partially cover it to minimize mess on your cooktop.
- The meatballs should be finished in the micro and nice and warm, add them to the pan with the veggies and the marinara sauce - partially cover and continue to simmer.
- There should be a few minutes left on your pasta - now's the time to cut a few slices of baguette and/or toss together a side dish. (We usually make a salad using cherry tomatoes and a bag of prewashed salad.)
- Depending on your pasta, it should most likely be done by now.
- Drain, put it back into the big pot, dribble some olive oil on it, sprinkle on a bit of black pepper, and give the pasta a good toss.
Ring the dinner bell and chow down!!
I made this over the weekend to feed Spencer and his friend that was over visiting. We did have less leftovers tho. Hee Hee. Teen boys LOVE this! I set the timer for 30 minutes when I did it, just to see if I could stay within the time "limit". I had the pasta, meatballs and sauce ready to eat in 23 minutes. Plenty of time to throw together a simple salad like we do and/or cut up some fresh bread.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. It's quick and easy and takes pre-made sauce and meatballs to the next level. And I don't have to tell you it's quick - which is good when you are being stared down by a few hungry teens!!!
I used all Trader Joe's ingredients because they are the store I go to the most. I have found frozen meatballs at other grocery stores though, and you can use whatever jar or can sauce you like. I do recommend that you have at least about 28oz or your sauce will be all veggie chunks and meatballs and hardly any sauce.
Ooh, and it's inexpensive too. If I ever remember, I'll jot down the prices of all the ingredients and let you know - no promises tho!
Damn, it took me longer to write this post than it did to cook this up the other day!!!