Pasta and Antipasto
A big pot of spaghetti is the basis of a fun and festive meal. In the time it takes to cook the pasta, an antipasto platter of fresh vegetables and other items that need little or no preparation, can be composed. As an alternative to spaghetti, consider a type of frozen pasta instead: Tortellini, ravioli, or cavatelli, or gnocchi (potato and semolina dumplings).
For the pasta, you’ll need:
- 16-ounce package pasta (thin spaghetti and angel hair are quickest cooking)
- 28-ounce jar good-quality natural pasta (marinara) sauce
- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
For the antipasto, choose several from the following suggested items:
- Jarred roasted red peppers, drained
- Cured olives, black or green
- Baby carrots
- Pre-cut broccoli or cauliflower florets
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sliced green bell peppers and/or cut celery stalks
- Suggested accompaniments: Fresh whole-grain bread and a good wine
Strategy: While bringing a large pot of water to a boil and cooking the pasta, prepare a platter or two of antipasto and slice the bread.
When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot. Stir in the pasta sauce (and if you’ve used dry pasta, the diced tomatoes). Warm up as needed. Serve the pasta on individual plates and let everyone take what they wish from the antipasto platters.
- Explore other ideas for nearly-instant meals.