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Easy to prepare, non-meat dinner... suggestions?

I'm having a friend over for dinner tonight and I'd like to keep it simple but delicious. Does anyone have a good suggestion? Thanks!

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  1. You can't go wrong with spaghetti and garlic bread! :-)

      1. Pasta pomodoro is one of my go-to fast/easy/delicious meals. The recipe I use (Carmine's) calls for proscuitto but I often omit it and it is just fine without it.

        1/4 cup olive oil

        8 cloves garlic, sliced

        1 ounce proscuitto, sliced

        1 bay leaf

        7 fresh basil leaves, sliced

        2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

        1/4 cup dry white wine

        1 20 ounce can plum tomatoes, drained

        salt and freshly ground pepper

        12 ounces dried rigatoni, spaghetti, or penne

        Soooo good!

        1. Last night I grated a zucchini and an onion and drained them really well. In a bowl mash about a can of chickpeas then stir in the zucchini and onion. Add two eggs and stir well, then add enough flour to make a batter. Add salt, pepper, a splash of baking powder, a good helping of dill and a crumble of feta. Drop large dollops into a saute pan , cook, flip, cook. Zucchini and chickpea cakes!

          1. Tortilla espagnol, salad, good bread

            1. Thanks! Pasta makes perfect sense for tonight. Sometimes the obvious escapes me. I had some San Marzano tomatoes that I bought at my local produce stand the other day, and I just took a short trip to pick up an assortment of fresh mushrooms from one of the local mushroom growers. I'm making a ragu and I'll serve it over tagliatelle. An heirloom tomato and basil salad will start us off (I can eat tomatoes with every meal this time of year), and garlic bread will round it out. Yum! I'm getting hungry.

              Harters -- can you say a few words about the tortilla espagnol?

              4 Replies
              1. re: CindyJ

                I can wax lyrical about tortilla. The Mallorcan brother in law is, unsurprisingly, the expert cook.

                It's one of those dishes where the simpler the better. You gently fry onions, potato and garlic till soft. Fry them separately and you don't really want colour on them. Beat a couple of eggs person and put everything back in the fryng pan. Low heat.

                This is now going to take 15 -20 minutes to finish. As the eggs start to set, you slowly draw everything into the centre - building up the thickness of the omelette. When it's nearly fully set, put a plate on top and flip the omelette, then let it back into the pan to finish off. Pedro's is a work of art - mine is more, erm, creative in its appearance as I don't have the patience to let it fry as slowly.

                We always have it with a simple salad - crisp lettuce, chunks of tomato, sliced onion. Dressing of oil, vinegar, good shake of Tabasco. And good crusty bread. My partner woudnt consider eating it without red wine. Oh, and it's just as good cold as leftovers as it is hot (although let it come to room temperature before eating)

                Bon profit.

                1. re: Harters

                  Wow! I've never made anything remotely like that. I just cut/pasted your recipe into a separate document and I'll definitely try it soon. That also sounds like a really wonderful lunch for company. Have you ever tried doing the 15-20 minutes in the oven instead of on the stove? I wonder how that might work.

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    Cindy - it just won't work in the oven. You need to pretty much give it your attention in the moulding up the height. This is slow food - do all your prep, tune the radio to your favourite station, pour yourself your favourite aperitif and enjoy the cooking.

                    1. re: Harters

                      *SMILE* I like your style, Harters!

              2. Last night I cooked some bucatini and put the hot pasta in a big bowl where I had assembled halved cherry tomatoes, chopped wild watercress, garlic, shallot, flor de sal, freshly ground pepper dried herbes de Provence, and really good olive oil.. Tossed it all together, and added some shreds of fresh Mozza. We pigged out! ;)

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChefJune

                  That sounds soooooo good! Isn't it amazing how sometimes the simplest dishes are the best?