In a hurry, hungry, and don't want to make a big mess in the kitchen? Help speed your evening meal prep along by keeping a zippy bag of cooked pasta in the freezer. Just prepare it according to package directions to the minimum cooking time, rinse under cold running water, drain, toss it with a bit of olive oil and freeze. When you're ready to use it, just toss the bag in the microwave on defrost setting for a couple of minutes, take out what you need, and then return the bag to the freezer for the next time.
Here's an easy recipe for a skillet dinner that's as tasty and satisfying as going out to your favorite Italian restaurant, but at a fraction of the cost and it'll feed a crowd. This freezes well, too, so freeze it in portions for quick future meals!
Italian Skillet Dinner
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. wine (dry white or dry red, what you have in the fridge)
1 pound Italian sausage, sliced 1/2 inch (mild, hot, turkey, chicken, pork...your choice)
6-8 cups cooked pasta (I used penne this time.)
2 (28-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with garlic & basil, undrained
5 ounces fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
In a large, deep skillet, sauté vegetables over medium-high heat until they start to get soft; remove them from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Drain any fat, but don't wipe out the pan.
Pour the wine into the pan and return it to the burner over medium-high heat. Spoon the vegetables back into the pan and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Add sausage and tomatoes to the skillet and bring to a simmer for another 2 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in the fresh spinach until it is just wilted and serve. Top with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Serves 6 hungry people.