Weeknight Shorts: Super Quick

We all get busy. We all get tired. And sometimes, when we're both, we don't always feel like fussing with dinner much at all. But going out to eat is often even more work and takeout or delivery can be both expensive and disappointing. So what should you do? Why not turn to a dinner idea that can be assembled in about the same time it takes to cook and drain a pot of pasta:

This spicy pasta dish (that can be made mild if that's your thing) is packed with lovely vegetables and tender seafood. And you can even mix and match the ingredients to fit your mood and the ingredients you have on hand. After all, this is a dish that's meant to be flexible and save you time, not have you worrying about whether or not you have zucchini on hand. (Hint: if it's August, you probably have zucchini on hand!) It's meant to help you get a quick and delicious meal on your table without having you reaching for the pizza delivery guy's phone number. No dinnertime emergencies when you are armed with this recipe!

So … what to have with it? If you want to keep it very simple, try adding … nothing. This meal will happily stand on its own. If you must, toss some fresh greens with your favorite dressing and pour yourself a glass of that white wine you're tossing in the pasta sauce. You know you're supposed to use a wine you'd happily drink, right? Well, please do so and enjoy your simple, quick, delicious dinner!

Spicy Garlic Seafood Spaghetti

  • 8 oz. spaghetti
  • 1–2 dried red chilies (use more if you like it hot!)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini — cut into quarters lengthwise and sliced
  • 4–5 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 12 grape tomatoes – cut into halves
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • Splash of white wine
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans lump crabmeat, drained
  • Salt and black pepper – to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil and add in 2 teaspoons of salt and the dried chilies. If you do not want the heat in this dish, omit the dried chilies. If you want it hotter, add another to the pot. Add in the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and discard the chilies (or, if you are very adventurous, chop them up and add them to the sauce).

While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil to a large pan. Add the zucchini and garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock; simmer for 5 minutes. Add the wine and crabmeat. Toss with the cooked pasta. Taste first before seasoning further with salt and black pepper and drizzle with additional olive oil if needed. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2-3 servings, depending on your appetites
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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