This is one of those delicious, simple dinners that will have you eating with your loved ones in less than 15 minutes, with the added benefit of using all those great vegetables in your fridge before they need to be tossed!
Mama Steph's Dinner in 10: One pan zucchini-tomato pasta
12 oz vermicelli or thin spaghetti 10 oz tomatoes, sliced (or if cherry or grape tomatoes, halved) 1 small to medium onion, sliced thinly 1 medium sized zucchini, sliced thinly (or use a gadget that makes spaghetti-like strands of it) 10 oz package sliced baby portabella mushrooms (optional) 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (to taste...more is better, in some opinions!) 1 tsp red pepper flakes 1 tsp salt 1 quart plus one cup water Small bunch of fresh basil, torn, or 1 tsp dried basil
1. In a large skillet with deep sides (a chicken fryer, for example) drizzle olive oil, and tilt pan to cover bottom with oil. Heat over medium heat. 2. Make a layer of sliced tomatoes on the bottom of the skillet, then layer of zucchini and mushrooms. 3. Lay the dry spaghetti over the veggies, and spread out as much as possible. Top with red pepper flakes, salt, garlic and basil. 4. Gently pour the water over the pasta, and turn heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, pushing the pasta around with a wooden spoon or other utensil. (The goal is to keep pasta moving gently so it doesn't stick together.) 5. Cook for 7 minutes after water comes to a boil, stirring frequently (or according to package directions; if you use thicker pasta, it may take longer than seven minutes).
Do not walk away! Water will evaporate in that time, and pasta could scorch.
Optional add-ins: You can use a bag of pre-grilled chicken strips, or chicken pulled from the bone of a rotisserie chicken and scatter into the pasta when nearly done, stirring in until it is heated. Consider using other vegetables in this dish; if you have leftover peas, for example, or zucchini, you could easily toss those in!
Serve with salad, garlic bread, or grilled chicken on the side, if you'd like.