Friday, January 27, 2012

My 'GO TO" dinners

The other day, it was snowing HEAVILY -- and Emily called to tell me they were on their way to our house.

I did the first thing every mother in America does -- I asked, "are you hungry?"

Sometimes -- I have days to prepare and plan the perfect meal...

But more often than not, I get very short notice. And when I need to do something in a HURRY... I have a few "go to" meals.

For that reason -- I always have Italian bread in the freezer. Wrapped in a napkin, a frozen loaf will thaw in the microwave in just a few minutes...then I slice it and can go in several different directions.

With a jar of spaghetti sauce, cheese & pepperoni or sausage...I could make a very quick PIZZA...

Really. I can have that on the table in about 15 minutes...

OR -- with mayo, ham and cheese -- popped under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly.. and it's a hot ham & cheese sub...PERFECT.

OR -- I could slap together a Mufaletta sandwich. I usually have the olive mix in my refrigerator -- and the rest is easy. Ham, hard salami & provolone. Yumm-o...

Sometimes, tho -- there's a BIG crowd coming. You just NEVER KNOW when you might have to feed some hungry men...and for me -- the quickest thing and the biggest bang for my time is spaghetti!!

For one thing -- I ALWAYS have it on hand...

First -- put a pot of water on to get it boiling -- then look in the frig to see what I have. My go-to-pasta dish is Carbonara, using leftovers. (If you are a REAL Italian -- you might want to stop reading right now...)

But here's my interpretation...

As I boil the whole box of spaghetti -- I fry off 4 strips of bacon -- very crispy...(set it aside).

Then I chop up what I have in the frig -- and saute it in some of the bacon drippings:

4 green onions (tops & all)
1/2 c. leftover steamed broccoli (could be green beans or peas)
4 slices of hard salami (or ham, or leftover breakfast sausage)
half a tomato, cut into bits (or some cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
some sliced black olives
2 garlic cloves, minced

When the spaghetti is cooked -- I drain it. Then, some olive oil into the hot spaghetti pot...and I combine the hot spaghetti and the sauted lefltovers -- toss it all with 2 beaten eggs and 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese. The last thing is the crispy bacon...and if I have it -- some fresh parsley.


And I swear to you -- it took me longer to write about it than it took me to actually COOK IT.

In less than 20 minutes, you can have a very large, colorful bowl of delicious food on the table...and it's a little bit different every time I make it.

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