Oh Thursdays. How you mess me up so! I set aside Thursday to do some crazy crafting and I forget all about dinner. Not only that, I sometimes forget that Reg has class on Thursday night. The worst is when I am so tired from being crafty I fall asleep and wake up and say, “Holy crap! It’s dinner time already?”
This is how I discovered the power of leftover spaghetti, a can of tomato soup and some panko breadcrumbs. I introduce to you, my quick & stupid beefaroni.
The Ever-Changing Recipe
Years ago when I lived in Vancouver my friend Cathy taught me how to make spaghetti sauce with a can of tomato soup. It tasted remarkably like that sauce Chef Boyardee uses for everything. You add some olive oil, some spices and voila!
Well on one of my now-traditional flustered Thursday evenings I saw that I had some spaghetti sauce leftover from the night before but not enough for dinner. So… I added a can of tomato soup. Remember, you must also season even after adding the tomato soup. This is a fast dinner so no time for anything fresh. Use garlic powder, red chilli pepper flakes, Italian spices, salt… Whatever floats your foodie boat.
Also, to help it evolve from just being a spaghetti sauce I add a creamy element at the end. Whatever I happen to have: old cheddar, sour cream, mascarpone cheese, heavy cream… Then I take the pot off the heat.
Oh yeah and get that water boiling A-S-A-P! I cook the pasta the shortest time the package says to. This is not a casserole that is going to sit in the oven for 30 minutes. We need food now!
While all that is going on I get out the panko breadcrumbs, some freshly sliced Parm, olive oil, salt and pepper to make a crumbled top. No measurements. Just toss together to make the crumbs.
Once the pasta is done I drain it and top it with the sauce.
Put the pasta and sauce into a greased baking dish and top with the panko mixture.
While everything is cooking, crank up the oven up to a broil. Put in the casserole dish and wait a few minutes.
Take out when everything gets nice and brown and crunchy.
No, definitely not pretty but more than edible. We actually ended up really enjoying this dish. Amazing what you can do when you wake up confused with less than half an hour to cook dinner.
So please share your ideas! Your stories! Am I the only one that gets totally caught off guard making dinner? What do you make on no-time-to-cook nights?