Sunday, January 5, 2014

Easiest Recipe in the World by Hank Phillippi Ryan


*****Winners for Hank's books are as follows: winners of THE OTHER WOMAN are CEBlain and, Susan Hampton, of THE WRONG GIRL are Carol Baier and Cherielynne538 at yahoo dot com. Please email Hank at hryan at whdh dot com to arrange the particulars...



Let's give a big Mystery Lovers Kitchen welcome to today's guest, TV reporter and thriller writer and all-around fabulous friend, Hank Phillippi Ryan!HANK: Easiest recipe in the world! Got you, right?

Since I know over the holidays you all made elaborate Buche de Noel and complicated framboise souffles and labor-intensive duck a l’orange and now, you’re simply out of cooking energy, right? Well, voila—here’s the easiest recipe in the world.

I always make this on nights when I get home late and still want to come up with a delicious dinner that's quick and easy.  The recipe has just a few ingredients--the key is a little parallel processing to make sure all the elements are ready at the same time.  It's one of those recipes where you think you know what it's going to taste like--but it doesn't! The total of the hot peppers and the garlic and the cheese is more than the sum of the parts.

Read the whole recipe through first—that’ll make it easier to organize.

Hank's " Pasta on a Deadline"




Ingredients
 
Your favorite pasta  (Penne works well, so does farfalle. Short pasta works better than long pasta. Spaghetti will work, but not as well. This recipe serves, well, three. Ish.)

Water for cooking pasta

One tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup or a little more olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup or more yummy bread crumbs

1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped smallish

Grated Parmesan cheese  (the best quality you can)

Salt and pepper to taste



Instructions
 
1. Put uncooked pasta in boiling water

2. Put olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl, and put in the microwave.  (I know you'll wonder if you really need the red pepper flakes--you do!)

3.  When pasta is two minutes from done, cook oil mixture in microwave for
one and a half minutes on “reheat.”
 
4. At essentially the same time, add the chopped broccoli rabe to the cooking pasta.

5.  Take the oil mixture out of the microwave (careful, it’ll be HOT!) and mix in the bread crumbs to make a paste.  The consistency should be oily, not stiff, so add bread crumbs gradually. 
 
 
6. When the pasta is done, the broccoli will be done.  Drain the pasta/broccoli  in a colander and return to hot pan.

7.  Quickly add the oil and breadcrumb mixture and stir to coat pasta.
 
8. Serve instantly with grated cheese and fresh pepper. (You don't want this to get cold!)


Recipe notes:
**I've used regular broccoli, instead of broccoli rabe, and also chopped spinach--and it still works perfectly. The peppery flavor of the rabe is a nice addition, though. Sometimes I add hot grilled corn kernels at the same time as the oil mixture.

Use grilled zucchini instead of the broccoli, but DON’T put it in the boiling water, of course, just add it with the oil.

You can also heat the oil mixture in a sauce pan. The key is, you're just heating the oil, not cooking it.

Add grilled chicken! Add grilled shrimp!

And for gluten-free-ers, I have discovered Bionature rice pasta—it’s terrific and not cardboard like most substitute type pastas.   And you don’t really need the breadcrumbs—I’m a no-carb type, so I leave them out.
Happy New Year, all! And let’s see---let’s give away a copy of THE WRONG GIRL to one lucky commenter--and the Mary Higgins Clark award winning THE OTHER WOMAN to another!

Just tell us in a comment—what’s your favorite accompaniment to pasta?




HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate. She’s won 30 EMMYs, 12 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. A bestselling author of six mystery novels, Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and most recently, for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award.
Her newest thriller, THE WRONG GIRL, (What if you didn’t know the truth about your own family?) is a Boston Globe bestseller and was dubbed ""Another winner!"" in a Booklist starred review. She’s on the national board of Mystery Writers of America and 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime.
 Visit her online at  on Twitter  @hank_phillippi and Facebook.

91 comments:

  1. My favorite is Alfredo, but I don't eat it. I've tried a couple of the light variations, but I'd rather have marinara.

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    1. Yup, Sue F, there may be nothing better than fabulous marinara. Although-have you made Juila Child's? It takes--hours. I'll need forget the first time I made it.It is SO complicated! Thanks for being here today!

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  2. I like a good meat sauce. Why not have something with protein? And, a good garlic bread...yum.

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    1. Garlic bread, garlic bread, I have to admit--so yummy.

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    2. OOps, hit send too soon. Are you a "take the whole loaf and put garlic butter between the slices" person, or a "one slice at a time"?

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  3. Sue, me too on the marinara, but this looks good and so easy! thanks Hank for showing us how:)

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    1. Thank you for inviting me, Lucy! SO excited for Murder with Ganache!

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  4. This is probably rather pedestrian - but I just like a little butter and garlic.

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    1. Yes, isn't it delicious? Not pedestrian..classic!

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  5. Welcome, Hank! I loves me some broccoli rabe. I grew up with an Italian-born mom and aunt, and bitter greens are a fantastic foil to the richness of cheese and pasta. Leave it to a brilliant writer to come up with a brilliant method of cooking both the pasta and the broccoli at the same time. Now that I've seen this quick method of yours, I don't think I'll ever do it any other way! Thanks so much for joining us today and Happy New Year! ~ Cleo

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    1. Oh, my pleasure, and thank you...and yes, it really works! And means you only have to use one pan, too. HAppy New YEar!

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  6. Thank you for this great recipe. I love to have cheese garlic bread with pasta and a nice salad

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    1. CHeese garlic bread! Like..parmesan cheese broiled onto the top? Yum.

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  7. my earlier comments didn't show, but I love this recipe and I'm glad I read the whole thing because I had planned to leave out the breadcrumbs.

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    1. Yup, Dru, works fine without the breadcrumbs! zoo

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  8. I like calamari in marinara sauce

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    1. Spicy? Have you tried it in fra diavolo sauce? Very peppery and lovely..xoo

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  9. A really good salad, tomatoes, mozzarella & lots of greens tossed in a light Italian dressing.

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    1. Salad is the perfect accompaniment. My mother used to yell at me for cutting the romaine with a knife--she said you're supposed to tear lettuce, not cut it. But I still cut it. :-)

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  10. garlic bread and salad. but I also usually think a red sauce with pasta. however, this does look good and I think hubby would like it

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    1. Yes, Donna, it's delicious! Let me know how he likes it..and you, too!

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  11. I LOVE pasta, and this sounds fantastic--easy enough for a week night or when I want to spend my time writing not cooking and a wonderfully sneaky way to get some veggies into my hubby! I did not make a buche de Noel this year, but I am still worn out from all the Christmas prep and glad to have a recipe that I can whip up in a flash! Thanks for guesting today, Hank. It's always lovely to have you!

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    1. My pleasure, dear Peg! ANd yes, it's so easy, The first time, you'll think--am I doing it right? But eventually, you won't even need the recipe, it's just so logical..and you can adjust quantities if you want it with more oil. Happy writing!

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  12. In the summer, I love pasta with fresh chopped tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic.

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    1. Susan, cold tomatoes? HOw do you do it? (It's SO snowy here in Boston, summer seems so far away!)

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  13. Love the recipe, super easy. And what a great website!

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  14. This is one of my favorite go-to dinners. I sometimes add a package of ground Italian sausage for extra flavor.
    If you'd like a "saucier" version, add 1 cup of the pasta cooking water after the pasta is finished cooking to the saucepan. The already flavored water will add moisture and sauce to your dish.
    Great recipe, Hank!
    You are as great a cook as you are mystery writer :)
    Victoria Allman
    Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain

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    1. OH, high praise coming from you, dear Victoria! Thank you!

      YOu mean add the water when we add the oil? Then it would get all--emulsified, and hmm..lovely! Bon voyage..xoo

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  15. Cherielynne538@yahoo.comJanuary 5, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    I enjoy marinara, but especially like lemon butter with a little garlic. Add a piece of grilled salmon and a romaine/cherry tomato/red onion salad and dinner is sweet bliss.

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    1. Lemon butter! Fabulous idea. Oh, you are making me hungry...I am thinking about salmon for tonight!

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  16. My favorite us spaghetti and meat sauce, but this recipe looks easy and delicious.

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    1. It is, Penny! (There's a main character 'Penny' in my Prime Time books, so I always love to see that name..)

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  17. My favorite sauce for pasta is fresh chopped tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic added to the homemade tomato sauce after it has been simmering for a good amount of time (that is, if it is made from scratch). I also have a quick sauce that we love made with just olive oil, butter, lots of fresh garlic, the red pepper flakes that Hank mentioned, and lots of cracked black pepper and some Kosher salt with enough lemon to make you go yeow!!! This lemon butter garlic sauce is perfect for pasta, vegetables, and as a dip for bread. I add more lemon to my pasta when I make this too as I find that lemon livens up pasta a lot. As you did with this recipe, you add some really good freshly grated cheese to the top of your pasta or your vegetables. WE love shrimp with this sauce too.
    Thank you,
    Cynthia

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    1. Cynthia--I am definitely trying this! YUM. You would--saute the garlic in olive oil and butter..add everything else, and..is that how you make it?

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  18. Hank, I'm definitely writing down this recipe. I hate to cook, and it's always so hard to come up with healthy and fast things after work when I'm tired and the last thing I want to do is cook.
    My favorite pasta combo is my Pasta Con Pesce that's quick and easy with shrimp, bay scallops and some fresh peas if I have any if not frozen will do!
    Happy New Year Hank!!!!

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    1. Peas! Thank you for reminding me, dear Debbie! Really, a great secret ingredient. When all else fails, you can ALWAYS use frozen peas in this recipe..it's still delicious! xooxo Love you..

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  19. I was wondering if you knew the photo was not a photo of broccoli rabe. I was glad to read that you did!

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    1. xoxoo Good eye! Yup. that's just regular broccoli..

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    1. Yes, sautéed mushrooms...in garlic and butter. Delish.

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  21. Garlic bread of course. I don't know if I have a favorite sauce. I like marinara, Alfredo, even just butter. Of course a good salad and I also like corn as a side with most pasta dishes. I'm not a broccoli fan, so I typically don't add it, but if it's chopped up small enough I can handle it! lol

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    1. Thanks, Marsha..and even for non-fans of broccoli, you can choose a vegetable you like--and this will probably work fine! You just have to consider the best way to cook the vegetables--obviously you're not going to boil zucchini!

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  22. Hank, fun post! I love anything pasta (gluten-free for me). And I've discovered some great gluten-free bread crumbs by Glutino. Easy to use. On every grocer's shelf nowadays. Go with? Wine!

    Congrats on all the great success of your books.

    Daryl / Avery

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    1. Oh, Daryl, wine? Goes without saying, right? And thank you--you too!

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  23. Wow, this is EASY and sounds yummy to boot! I love to add tomatoes to my pasta. Stewed tomatoes work well. Looking forward to reading your book(s)!

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    1. Thank you Tonya...crossing fingers you love them!

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  24. I like to add tomatoes, too, but I halve cherry tomatoes, then saute them in olive oil that has had minced garlic warmed up in it first. Then add to the cooked pasta, along with slightly wilted basil and crumbled grilled salmon. Then sprinkle the whole thing with grated peccorino romano.

    But the broccoli rabe sounds wonderful, too. Thanks, Hank!

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    1. I am coming to your house. Just saying. oxoxo

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    2. Come on over. But tonight I'm making YOUR pasta!

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  25. I love pasta, my favorite is angel hair, but usually we buy whole grain penne. I like some marinara sauce, maybe some chopped tomatoes, topped with some sliced black olives and slivers of parmesan. And I wouldn't turn down a big piece of light garlic bread, not too garlicky.

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    1. How delicious are black olives? They make pasta dishes taste completely different. I always search for the olives in Chicken Marengo...xoo

      And do you know about getting the garlic smell off your hands by using chrome?

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  26. How delicious are black olives? They make pasta dishes taste completely different. I always search for the olives in Chicken Marengo...xoo

    And do you know about getting the garlic smell off your hands by using chrome?

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  27. LordAMercy. Some great new ideas to try here. I am in such a rut with my cooking. Thanks, Hank, for getting this started with your terrific pasta ideas. Garlic cheese bread - - oh, yes. I could live on it

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  28. OH, Kaye..cooking ruts. Don't get me started.
    Jonathan: Chicken and Green beans and brown rice? A-GAIN?

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  29. Sometimes I just like butter and fresh herbs on my pasta! I also enjoy grating cheese (whatever I have on hand) and red pepper flakes over pasta...with butter. For a change of pace I'll use pesto as well-though I prefer that with gnocchi.

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    1. Love pesto, Katreader! ANd you can use it in this recipe instead of the oil stuff!

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  30. Sounds easy, healthy, and fast. I'll try it.

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  31. Hank, Bionaturae is my favorite pasta. I don't buy the gluten-free version, but I have yet to buy any that wasn't excellent. I love quick recipes like this. A bag of frozen peas or spinach always works well, too. Thanks so much for joining us today!

    ~Krista

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    1. Yup, those two vegetable seem to freeze best, don't you think? Thank you all for inviting me!

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  32. Old school marinara nothing beats it.

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    1. yummy! xoxo And my husband likes meatballs, too...but I've never made them..

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  33. I do like easy pasta recipes. So added this one to my collection. What goes with pasta? I used to sat garlic bread/toast. Now, I say wine!!!

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  34. Reading all the other's versions makes me want to eat pasta tonight! I like taking fresh vegetables and basil leaves, flat parsley, minced garlic, fresh black pepper. Stir fry it in olive oil, which goes quickly, adding the pasta after the vegetables have cooked but are still firm. Toss with loccatelli cheese in a bowl to serve with caesar salad and a nice red wine.

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    1. Add the pasta to the vegetables? Hmmm..never thought about that..great idea!

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  35. Fresh from the garden tomatoes (in the summer), home canned tomatoes from the garden (in the winter), a splash of cream, grated parme and fresh ground pepper. Oh My!

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    1. YUM, Susan! Cream..I;ve never done that! Althoguh when I was in my twenties, my date go-to dish was fettucini alfredo..cream, parmesan and pepper. With CHicken kiev. YUM.

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  36. This sounds really good. :)
    I like a nice salad with tomatoes with my pasta of any kind.
    I once went to a restaurant and ordered the bruschetta appetizer. I was the only one who ate any of it, so I took the rest home. Later, I made pasta and put the bruschetta topping and some pesto and some cheese on it. It was soooo good!!!
    Love your books. ;)

    Pen M
    pmettert@yahoo.com

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    1. Thank you, dear Pen! xooo And brilliant idea for bruschetta pasta!

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  37. Oh, Hank, I make so many pasta dishes. I've done something similar to yours, but if I have to pick a favorite, it would be elbows with chopped celery and onion, tuna and mayo. Why? It's what Mom served us for lunch as kids so it is not only great tasting but it brings back fond memories...just like a box of crayons. LOL

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    1. Pat, was that served cold? SOunds wonderful...tuna salad pasta!

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  38. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! Exactly what I was looking for to make tonight. We are trying to transition to a more vegetarian diet as our New Year's resolution and this will make a perfect start on our new diet. I like the idea of adding peas, cherry tomatoes and lemon!

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  39. Sounds great, Hank. I'll be making it soon.

    Favorite accompaniment is super-garlicky bread.

    Favorite unusual ingredient for pasta -- preserved lemons. Just slice or chop all or part of a lemon (depending on how much you're making) and toss with olive oil, garlic, and grated parmesan reggiano. You can preserve the lemons yourself but I avoid the hassle and buy mine online from Zamouri Spices -- $29 for a whole gallon and they last about a year. I use them in Moroccan chicken as well -- beyond delicious.

    Carol Baier

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    1. Caro. that sounds fascinating..and you're right--unusual! Trying to imagine it.. MAybe with salmon Or with a little black caviar on top?

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  40. Almost everything goes good with pasta. I like so many sauces and add-inns it is hard to pick a favorite.

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    1. As we can see from all these comments, right, Julia? xoxo

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  41. Depends on my moods. Pasta with marinara and garlic bread on the side or sometimes I make a pasta salad out of it (I still like that garlic bread on the side, lol).

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    1. Pasta salad with marinara? Do you serve it cold, Debbie? Hmmm...interesting!

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  42. Never met a pasta dish (or a bunch of broccoili rabe) that I didn't like. Current favorite is pasta with roasted caulifower, capers, olive oil and breadcrumbs. Yum.

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    1. Hey, Ro! Happy new year! Roast the cauliflower first? Then add it and hte other stuff to the pasta? YUM! SOunds fabulous. And what is it about the breadcrumbs? It's taste and texture, right?

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  43. I just love pasta with just about any kind of sauce ever made--but of course my husband won't touch it---so I just cook it for myself and try to keep it simple. A good marinara with some sliced portabellos and a good sprinkle of parmesan is very easy.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. Really? Grr..that makes it difficult..my husband loves pasta. He just doesn't understand my green bean/salmon addiction!

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  44. What a lovely recipe, Hank! Thanks for visiting Mystery Lovers Kitchen and sharing it with us. I have already printed it out to make this week and sent a note to my gluten-free buddies.

    Hugs,

    MJ

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    1. And hugs to you, dear Mary Jane! Let me know how you like it...xoxo

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  45. This sounds delicious, Hank. I love rabe in pasta dishes. I make a similar dish, but w/o the bread crumbs and I add a can of cannellini beans. But my favorite pasta accompaniment comes from an old Sicilian dish my grandmother used to make every Christmas Eve. It uses buccatini pasta in an garlic aloli sauce tossed with raisins, walnuts halves and cubes of crusty Italian bread. Thanks for sharing! I am definitely going to try your recipe.

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  46. Winners for Hank's books are as follows: winners of THE OTHER WOMAN are CEBlain and, Susan Hampton, of THE WRONG GIRL are Carol Baier and Cherielynne538 at yahoo dot com. Please email Hank at hryan at whdh dot com to arrange the particulars...

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