It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.
Pasta is the ultimate in fast dinners but ordinary pasta and tomato sauce grows old fast. This recipe, from the always reliable food section of the Washington Post combines your expected tomatoes with the red peppers and the totally unexpected winter squash and cinnamon (yes cinnamon) for a surprising flavor combination that totally works. It is rich and satisfying and if your family is like mine, it allows me to sneak in extra vegetables without drawing attention to them. Its a sure win for an end of the week dinner.
FARFALLE w/ SQUASH & RED PEPPERS
1 pound farfalle pasta (or a small shape of your choice)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 pound acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
15 ounces canned diced tomatoes, plus their juices
1 cup toasted walnut pieces
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions, leave the farfalle slightly undercooked. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, crushed pepper flakes, and cinnamon, stirring to coat. Cover and cook until the onion and garlic have softened, about minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium; add the bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, and their juices. Cover and cook until the peppers and squash are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt to taste.
- Toss the pasta into the vegetables, along with as much of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to create a sauce. Stir to coat.
- Divide among individual bowls and top with the toasted walnuts.