Saturday, August 06, 2005

Best Laid Plans

I make a menu every week, and usually stick to it reasonably closely. So far this week, I have been spot on with every meal since Sunday. Today, since Saturdays are my best cooking days, I had planned to make quiche, Royal Thai rice (a recipe I have been trying to get around to for nearly two months now), and an apple pie.

At 5pm I had still not begun.

All plans were scrapped, and I followed an inspiration to make Rainbow Penne Pasta. This is one of those recipes that only takes about 30 minutes from conception to on-the-table, and I always have the ingredients on hand to begin with. Perfect for those Oh-Crap-Days when nothing goes according to plan. I got this recipe from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Food section months ago, and the whole family likes it. I serve it with whole wheat English muffin garlic toast, but it would be more filling with a baguette served with an olive oil and herbs dipping sauce. Of course, the whole point of Rainbow Penne is that I didn't plan ahead, which means I wouldn't exactly have time to run to the bakery and pick up a baguette...

  • 8 oz uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16 oz) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 (16 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 1/2 tsp salt (kosher, of course)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Cook pasta. Drain, but do not rinse.
  2. Heat the oil in large skillet over low heat. Add garlic & saute for 3 minutes.
  3. Add broccoli, beans, bell pepper, water and salt. Cover and adjust heat to medium. Steam, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes (until broccoli is hot and pepper is tender but still crisp).
  4. Toss pasta with vegetables, parmesan and pepper.

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