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15 Minute Pasta Dinner

 

IMG_4743_FotorThere’s nothing quite so frustrating as coming home from work tired and hungry, gazing into the refrigerator, then retreating because there’s nothing that says “make this” in there. We’ve all been there. I admit that packaged tomato soup and scrambled eggs have gotten me through several moves and writing deadlines. However, award winning cookbook author, Barbara Kafka, has helpful solutions for all kinds of daily culinary dilemmas and her 15 minute pasta solution is brilliant. Made with ingredients you are likely to have around (though I doubt everyone has heavy cream waiting for just the right moment), this pasta recipe is delicious, filling, and with a few additional ingredients, scores as healthy too.

Barbara’s recipe calls for egg noodles, lemon zest and juice, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese — and salt and pepper of course. I created the photo based on those ingredients. However, my secret weapons for dealing with nothing in the fridge include small containers of lightly caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms in the freezer. Quick thaw one or both of these while the pasta cooks and you’ve got more flavor and texture. Frozen peas work too. The other ingredient I nearly always have on hand is fresh baby spinach. Now you’ve covered all the bases in the same amount of time as you can throw the spinach in with the pasta for the last minute before it’s ready. Whatever you decide, be sure to stash a couple of packages of egg noodles in your pantry for one of those days.

15 Minute Pasta Dinner

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon Rain’s Choice vanilla extract
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles, and stir to separate. Cook for 8 minutes, or until just barely tender (the noodles will cook a bit more in step Drain, then return to the cooking pot.
  2. Just before noodles are done, in a small saucepan combine the lemon zest, cream, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until cream almost comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla, mixing well.
  3. Pour cream mixture over drained noodles, and add the lemon juice (you may want to start with 2 tablespoons and add to taste). Stir to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional pepper, if desired. Add Parmesan cheese over the top of pasta or serve it on the side.
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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
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