Quick and Easy Dinner: Cold Nights, Warm Comfort Food

Posted on: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 10:14am
Tagged with: recipes

Cold Nights, Warm Comfort FoodLooking for cooking that fits your lifestyle? Maximize the efficiency of your cozy kitchen by turning out tasty meals that won't clutter your counter with multiple pots, waste your time with complicated directions, or strain your budget. With minimal effort and inexpensive ingredients, a classic favorite like this one below can make any simple weeknight meal into something to celebrate. The techniques used in this easy recipe create the basis for many popular and impressive pasta dishes. Once you've mastered this version, let your creative side show and try adding in your own combination of ingredients.

Home-Made Pasta Sauce:

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 (28 oz) can tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 large garlic clove, minced, or ½ teaspoon of garlic powder

16 oz of any style pasta
1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated preferred)

Cook the ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until the meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain excess fat from the skillet and stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Meanwhile, cook the pasta of your choice according to the package directions and drain. (May we suggest tri-colored farfelle? The colors and bow tie shape make it feel fun) Serve the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with the cheese.

This recipe yields 4 main-dish dinner servings. In total, this recipe requires about 8 minutes of preparation and 30 minutes of cooking time. Try adding in ½ a cup of your favorite red wine, using sweet or spicy Italian sausage instead of ground beef, or substituting fresh or shredded Mozzarella cheese instead of Parmesan cheese. You can also experiment with combinations of these flavors. 


What do you like to make on a cold night?