When this happens, Jon usually comes home to all of the contents of the fridge sitting on the cabinet.
“Leftovers night!” I scream before he can ask the hated, “What’s for dinner?” question.
But sometimes there aren’t any leftovers, which either means I’m eating cereal for dinner or making something incredibly easy. This is where pasta comes in. I love pasta nights for lazy days; it takes little to no effort to make and it's always warm and tasty. But pasta can get repetitive, which is why I tried to spruce it up last time. Here’s what I came up with:
I bought frozen tortellinis instead of regular pasta to mix up the regular spaghetti with pasta sauce routine. And buying frozen is a good choice because, like dried pasta, it can be stored for months, which means that you have it on hand the next time the thought of cooking makes you want to stab someone. After boiling (tortellinis take less than five minutes, even when frozen), serve with store-bought tomato or pesto sauce.
Then pair the tortellinis with a vegetable or salad, and this Zucchini-Garlic Toast. In the time it takes your water to boil and the pasta to cook, you can make this bread and take the boring pasta dinner up a notch, all without having to do much cooking.
Recipe adapted from a spring 2008 issue of First magazine.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes
(It usually takes me so much longer to make a recipe than the “total time” listed, but this bread really only took 10-15 minutes to make.)
1 loaf Italian bread (about 12”) cut lengthwise into 3 slices.
1 small zucchini, halved and shredded
1 cup shredded 5-cheese Italian blend
3 cloves garlic (I was super lazy and just substituted a few sprinkles of garlic powder.)
1 Tbs. chopped roasted red peppers (I didn’t have any of these on hand, so I left it out. I’m sure the peppers really add to the flavor, though, so include it if you can.)
½ Tbs. chopped fresh oregano (Go for dried if that’s what you have in your cabinets!)
Heat broiler. Broil bread 3 minutes, turning once. In bowl, combine remaining ingredients; season with salt and pepper. Place grilled bread on foil or baking sheet. Top each bread slice with 1/3 cup of zucchini mixture. Broil toast 1 minute, or until cheese is melted. Cut diagonally into 2”-inch thick slices.