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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  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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  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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