Weeknight CookingWhat to CookPastaPantryTomatoes

A No-Fuss, Pantry-Staple Pasta to Unwind With

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Thanksgiving is a tiring, albeit delicious, time for a cook. If you hosted the feast, you likely spent many hours in the kitchen this week. You probably don't want to brave the grocery store again, cook anything complicated, or wash a lot of dishes until at least next week.

Not complicated, just pasta.
Not complicated, just pasta. Photo by Posie Harwood

You could, of course, order a pizza and call it a day. But don't rule out a homemade meal just because you're tired of cooking. This is the time to reach for simple and straightforward dishes: Ones that require only pantry staples. Today's recipe, a riff on one I found in the Hunt's tomato paste's archives, doesn't call for any ingredients you likely don't have on hand. It's not earth-shattering. But it is comforting and satisfying and will easily feed a crowd.

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Photo by Posie Harwood

Pasta recipes like this might seem almost too simple, but I like the idea of having the structure of a recipe to follow when my brain is overloaded from a busy week. After cooking some pasta, you'll sauté some onions with garlic until they soften and turn a deep, sweet golden brown. You'll add canned tomatoes and tomato paste for a more robust flavor, then some of your pasta cooking water to thicken the sauce. There's grated cheese, too, and chopped fresh parsley. A hefty dollop of sour cream transforms the sauce from ordinary to luxuriously creamy.

You can add onto this meal easily, too. Top it with a fried egg or leftover roast chicken or serve it over baby spinach. Or enjoy it as is, rounding out the dinner with some of that leftover pumpkin pie.

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Fettuccine Romano

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Serves 2
  • 8 ounces fettuccine or wide egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (plus extra, for serving)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Posie Harwood is a writer, photographer, and food stylist based in New York. You can read more of her writing here.

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What's your favorite non-complicated, post-holiday meal? Let us know in the comments!