Sunday Night Dinner: what we had on hand (pasta, sweet potatoes and fresh herbs!)


It’s Sunday night and no body has the energy or wants to make an elaborate dinner as we’re all trying to wrap up the weekend and prepare for the coming week. But we’ve all got to eat. My friend Laurie threw a chicken in the crockpot this morning and we concocted the plan that I’d grab some stuff from our house (pasta, herbs and veggies) and head their way to throw together a quick dinner for us and our kiddos. I didn’t really know what I was going to make but I threw some things in a bag and headed out.  

Contents of my bag: fresh thyme and sage from my herb garden, (2) bags of pasta that needed finishing off (neither bag had enough for dinner, cheese tortellini and gnocchi from the farmers market) asparagus and a must for me when cooking: my favorite flaky finishing salt. 

I got to our friends house and knew we had a small window of time that kids would be content playing and Laurie was preoccupied, so I went into her kitchen and set to the task. (You know you’re good friends when you help yourself to the wine and get comfortable in the kitchen and start heating up pots of water and preheating the oven). 

  • heated I medium pot of water-for the hodge, podge of pasta
  • preheated the oven for asparagus 
  • heated up a small sauté pan to melt the butter to crisp the sage leaves  
  • peeled and diced up some 1 sweet potato 

I began by heating the sauté pan on a med/high heat and melted 1 tablespoon of butter. Once melted I threw in a few sage leaves at a time and after about 10 seconds turned them, left them another 10 seconds and took them out of the pan and set them aside on a plate. I then threw in the sweet potatoes into the melted butter and let them brown and then covered with lid, until potatoes where soft. 

I cooked the tortellini for about 3 minutes and then added the gnocchi as I figured it wouldn’t take as long to cook and cooked for another 5 minutes (I have never tried to combo cook pasta like this before-I had no clue what I was doing, but decided to give it a whirl anyways). I put the asparagus in the oven to roast and took a big drink of my vino! I found a small random chunk of cheese in the fridge and shredded alittle bit of it (no clue what it was, but it tasted good! That would probably come in handy. 

Drained the pasta (AHHHH, looked like it was going to be ok and everything seemed to have cooked evenly). Once transferred to a bowl, I tossed it with olive oil, added the sauté pan full of potatoes and the left over melted sage butter. Sprinkled it with the cheese, and a little fresh thyme and topped it with the crisp sage and sprinkled everything with flaky finishing salt. It looked good. About this time, the asparagus was done and it was time to set the table. We took of the crock pot lid and let the chicken cool for a few minutes and there it was-dinner. 

Surprisingly, it was pretty darn good-and the kids even ate it:)