I love a meal that doesn’t require much planning. If it just so happens to be delicious that’s even better. One of our favorite meals around these parts is this simple and flexible pasta dish. It works with almost any vegetable and any kind of meat, so it’s a great dish for those days when you aren’t sure how the odds and ends in your pantry are going to make a meal.
###You will need:
* Some meat (even better if it’s already cooked)
* Some veggies
* Some pasta
* 1 can of diced tomatoes
* 1 cup heavy whipping cream
* 1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
* Parmesan cheese
1. Start cooking your pasta (about 6oz.). Penne and Bowtie pastas both work really well. But use whatever you have on hand.
2. Chop up some veggies. You can really use whatever floats your boat, but I personally prefer carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms. We’ve also used broccoli, peas, onions, asparagus, peppers, and spinach (in varying combinations). You probably want to have about 3-4 cups of veggies total.
3. Cut up some meat. We’ve tried it with chicken, turkey, and ham. Ham is my favorite, and I also think it would be good with both Italian and kielbasa sausage. The amount you should use depends on the carnivorousness of your family. I tend to do between one and two cups, although you could leave meat out entirely and it would still be tasty.
4. Sauté stuff in a pan with butter. You want the vegetables to be tender and the meat to be cooked, so depending on your combination of ingredients you may need to put different things in at different times (i.e. the carrots go in long before the spinach, raw meat goes in earlier than cooked).
5. Add the tomatoes, cream, and seasoning packet. Stir and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the cooked pasta and sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese.