I know there are those of you out there (yet again - who won't leave comments here - but make their voices known!) that think that we are not eating. Well let me set the record straight. Yes, we are, but life is back into full swing, and what can I say, yes I often take short cuts - make meals that are going to provide the least resistance - meals that I can make in seconds flat - and you know what that means - UNBLOGGABLE!!! Sorry!!
So in order to make amends, I will share with you my day in the kitchen yesterday.
A dear friend of mine was having surgery, and I wanted to make life a little easier on her family while she tried (if that is at all possible in a hospital!) get a bit of a rest. So I set about making a meal for them, and some soup for her for when she got home. Oh, and I did think I would also make our family's dinner in there as well (sadly misguided I know - always attempting more than is actually achievable!!) - better not tell you that I also wanted to make a cake, and a slice to send to my friend's as well - (you guessed it - ran out of time!!! As I am starting to make the dinner I decide why not just increase the amounts and feed two families at one - and hence the name Pasta to Feed a Small Army!!!
This is just a variation on my my 4 ingredient pasta - but there was a definite thumbs up from both camps after sampling!
Pasta to feed a small army!
750g dried macaroni pasta
800g can chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g tomato soup
approx 1 - 1.5kg sausages (around 36 sausages)
2 x red capsicums
250g cherry tomatoes
6 cloves garlic crushed
2 onions, finely diced
250g cheddar cheese, grated
100g parmesan cheese, grated
Cut the red capsicums in half. Lay on a baking tray that has been lined with foil. Place the cherry tomatoes on the tray as well. Spray liberally with olive oil spray. Grill under a hot grill for 10-15 minutes, or until skin blisters and blackens. Allow to cool. When cool enough to handle remove the blackened skin from the capsicum, chop into small pieces. Leave the cherry tomatoes - they will do their own stuff!!
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
Cut a small hole in the end of the sausages, squeeze small amounts (mini meatballs size) into a heated frying pan. Cook in batches until all sausages (meatballs are cooked). Drain on paper towels.
Remove the fat from the sausages from the pan with paper towels. Add a small amount of olive oil and cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes, or until softened.
In a large saucepan combine the macaroni, meatballs, canned tomatoes, tomato soup, chopped capsicums, roasted cherry tomatoes, onion, and garlic (everything except the cheese!!)
Place the combined mixture into baking trays (disposable ones if you are giving the meal away, or freezing for later!!) Top with the combined cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.
Now if you are cooking right away - heat the oven to 180C. Cook for 15-30 minutes - or until the top is golden, and the cheese melted. Serve with additional grated parmesan cheese.
There were lots of happy faces around the place after this one!!! Now you might like to vary it slightly - alter the sausages - use spicy, or chicken - you may like to add some chilli to the mix - but this is a great base that pleases everyone - and is also very thrifty on the budget!!! Give it a go - it will become a dinner winner!
So in addition to the pasta I made a Pumpkin Soup, as Miss Twinkles was having surgery to her throat, and needed to eat soft food for a while. Of course the Thermomix came in very handy for this! I did alter the recipe slightly though.....
adapted from EDC - Thermomix Cookbook
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 tbs oil
500g butternut pumpkin, peeled, roughly cubed
1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
1 granny smith apple, peeled, core removed
1 tbs TM Stock concentrate (or 500ml chicken stock)
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs greek style yoghurt
2 tbs sour cream (this was because this was all I had!!!)
Place the onion into the TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 7.
Add the oil and saute for 3 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 1.
Add the pumpkin, carrot and apple. Chop for 15 seconds on speed 7.
Add the stock and cook for 20 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 1.
Blend for 20 seconds by slowly going from speed 1 to speed 9.
Scrape down the bowl, and repeat.
Add the sour cream, and yoghurt, season to taste, and combine for 10 seconds on speed 5.
So there you have it Dear Readers - I have been cooking - and as you can see - very simple, easy to please meals!!!
I must go now ..... off to a Thermomix Cooking Class - will tell all about it later.
Have a good weekend!!