I don’t know about you, but thinking of something to make for dinner every night is one of my biggest domestic challenges as a newlywed. My precious friend Elizabeth has inspired me to be more adventurous and brave in the kitchen. She is a wonderful cook and such a good teacher. From the moment that she taught me what to do with fresh garlic (I had NO idea!), I have felt like just maybe I could learn to be a better cook. It is not that I don’t like to cook, I have just really always seen it as a chore and never put much effort into it when I was single. It was easy to have super simple meals most of the time. When I got married and was suddenly responsible for coming up with an idea for dinner – EVERY DAY – and making sure my dear husband doesn't go hungry, it suddenly became overwhelming. But over the past 10 months (can you believe it??) together Mike and I have definitely found our groove in the kitchen. We’ve gone from driving each other crazy in the kitchen to cooking together in harmony (well, most of the time anyways). I love that making dinner has become a fun way for us to spend time together. I am always on the lookout for new recipes and thought I would share this delicious recipe we tried this week from Real Simple. It is fairly quick and easy – perfect for a work night!
Rigatoni with Grilled Peppers and Onions
2 medium red onions, sliced into ½-inch thick rings
2 large red bell peppers, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
12 ounces rigatoni
1 bunch spinach, stems trimmed or one 5-ounce package
1 cup grated Parmesan
½ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.
In a large bowl, toss the onions, bell peppers, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return the pasta to the pot.
Add the grilled vegetables, spinach, the reserved pasta water, and ¾ cup of the Parmesan to the pasta and toss to combine. Top with the basil and the remaining Parmesan before serving.
We cut the recipe in half – sort of, and used only one red onion and about ¾ the pasta. Skipped the basil all together and we didn’t add the reserved pasta water. I would suggest chopping the onion and bell pepper into large bite size pieces before cooking.
I love finding good recipes, so if you have a quick and easy one you'd like to share, please post it on your blog and leave a link in the comments. I’ll try to post a recipe on a semi-regular basis and hopefully we can all expand our cookbooks.