Lazy weekend dinners 🍝

Before lockdown, weekends always translated to either ordering food in from the restaurant or eating out. That’s a distant memory now; but still come weekend and the lethargy to cook creeps up. 

For such lazy weekends, easy to cook, one pot meals straight from the pan is the antidote and it’s good to have a few easy recipes at hand. There are food that can be cooked in a jiffy, but remembering to stock these items is a challenge.

And one such easy to cook meal is pasta and I currently love the penne. Penne arrabbiata is one lazy weekend dinner. It’s pasta in a spicy red sauce and adding meat or chicken sausage in this case, makes it a hearty meal. This is not the true version – I did not have parmesan cheese and made do with the Amul cheese cubes; but am fine with the switch. (Parmesan, basil, parsley etc. are not available in the local shops, so will make do with what we have).

Penne arrabbiata and chicken sausage
Penne arrabbiata and chicken sausage

Penne arrabbiata (lockdown version ☺️)

Most of the ingredients have come straight from a packet; cooking from scratch is an alternative, but here we are trying to reduce labour and minimise time spent over the stove.

Ingredients 

  • Penne pasta 3 cups
  • Olive oil 3 tbsp
  • Garlic 1 tbsp, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
  • Chilli flakes; 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Tomato puree; 200g (1 packet) or you can use fresh tomatoes 4 nos. medium size, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Chicken sausages 8 nos, fried
  • Cheese

Method

[1] In a pan, add the olive oil and stir in the garlic and chilli flakes. Garlic cooking in olive oil has a lovely aroma. Then add the tomato puree and mix well and let the sauce simmer; add salt. If fresh chopped tomatoes are used, they need to cook until soft and mushy.

[2] In another pot, boil water. Add salt and a drop of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. 

[3] Strain the cooked pasta. Add 3 to 4 tbsp of the pasta water to the simmering tomato sauce. Mix well and then add the hot pasta to the sauce. Stir and take off flame.

[4] Slice the cooked chicken sausages and add to the pasta. Grate cheese over the pasta and serve hot.

I know that parmesan cannot be replaced by a normal cheese; but it will do for now. It’s an easy and yummy meal for the lazy lockdown days😋 !!

Till next post, take care !!

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