Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

For Crying Out Loud! It Can’t Be This Late Already!!!!

on June 17, 2014

What to fix for dinner under these circumstances?

There are some people who never find themselves in that type of situation.  I am not one of those people.  Some of this is due to a low-level (SNORT…GASP…CHOKE) state of disorganization here Chez Maeve; but the bigger part is due to wildly fluctuating schedules of the people who live here.  Angharad’s summer classes are all at night and she works most days – so there’s that; Iseult has a rather active social life (as long as she has met her household obligations); and my workday can get extended several hours if my West Coast office needs support or we have a sudden data call.

Suffice it to say, I find myself in this rather frequently, so I have become rather adept at switching gears by stocking “emergency meal stuff” in the pantry.  Last night was one such evening.  We were going to have Tandoori Chicken Skewers with Peach Chutney, but a late afternoon situation squashed those plans.  A quick perusal of the pantry revealed a box of fettuccine, cans of whole plum tomatoes, and bread crumbs.  In the fridge we have parmesan cheese and eggs.  There’s fresh basil growing outside.  Hmmm…sounds like the perfect evening for…

Fettuccine Nests with Quick Marinara

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I recommend turning it out onto a cutting board; makes cutting so much easier

For the Fettuccine Nests:

  • 8oz dry fettuccine, cooked and chilled
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.  (I cooked the entire 16oz package of fettuccine and just refrigerated the rest.  I ran the hot pasta under cold water and let it drain a bit – worked fine).  Mix the fettuccine, eggs, cheese, bread crumbs and parsley in a bowl (or if you’re me, in the pot you cooked the pasta in).

Heat the olive oil in a skillet (I used a nonstick pan and I recommend the same); add the pasta mixture pressing down to cover the entire bottom of the pan, and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown and crispy – about 3 minutes; flip and cook another 3 minutes or so.  Slide it onto a paper-towel lined plate (to soak up some of the oil) and then cut into wedges.

For the Quick Marinara

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp. minced/pressed garlic
    • 2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes
    • 10-12 leaves fresh basil (I don’t recommend using dried in this recipe)
    • ¼ – ½ tsp. dried red pepper flakes (optional)
    • Kosher salt
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I like to serve in a pasta bowl with the sauce on the bottom

Heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook for a few minutes over medium heat.  Pour in the juice from the tomatoes then squish the tomatoes to beak them up (kids love doing this even when they’re nearly 15); Puree the tomatoes carefully with a wand blender (you could also do this in the can – way less messy – or use a regular blender ,but I don’t have one and it’s too much work anyway) until you get the level of smooth/chunky you like -we like ours relatively smooth.

Reduce the heat to low; add the basil, season with salt & pepper and heat through – say 10 minutes.

The recipe indicates enough for four people, but in reality if you’re feeding more than three, I recommend making two of these “nests” (after all, you  have enough pasta).  They cook up quickly enough and there’s plenty of sauce to accompany it; add a salad and you have a great meal on the table in about 30 minutes.

Recipe Adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue No. 93 (May/June 2012) – Fettuccine Nest with Fresh Marinara

 

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