Easy dinner recipes: Three great ideas in about 15 minutes

Rigatoni with mushrooms and pancetta
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Dinner in about 15 minutes? You bet. Because we all have those days when we’re short on time -- or energy -- or perhaps we’re busy planning for a big dinner tomorrow. Have your meal ready in minutes with these hearty ideas. 

Rigatoni with mushrooms and pancetta: This pasta sauce has an old-fashioned, long-simmered taste, but takes less than 15 minutes to cook.

Curried slaw: You’ll love the brightness and depth of flavor in this so-simple take on cole slaw served with a curried vinaigrette.

Clams with pine nuts and serrano ham: Rich flavor comes together in minutes with this dish. Plan to serve the clams with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce. You can find the recipe below.



Total time: 15 minutes | Serves 8

Note: Adapted from El Suquet de L’Almirall in Barcelona.

1 1/2 cups best-quality extra virgin olive oil


2 small cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise

3/4 cup pine nuts

3 to 4 ounces serrano ham or prosciutto in one piece, finely diced

3 pounds small clams, such as cockles, Manilas or littlenecks, scrubbed

2 to 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

Crusty bread

1. In a wide earthenware cazuela, a very large (12- to 14-inch) heavy skillet or a wide casserole, heat the oil with the garlic over medium heat until tender and fragrant. Add the pine nuts and the ham and cook, stirring, until the nuts just begin to color, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the clams, raise the heat to medium-high, cover and cook until the clams open, about 5 to 9 minutes (depending on the size of the clams), shaking the pan occasionally. Discard any of the clams that don’t open.


3. Serve directly from the cazuela or transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the sauce. (If you have oil and pine nuts left over, toss it with pasta the next day.)

Each serving with 1 tablespoon oil: 361 calories; 13 grams protein; 3 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 34 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 32 mg. cholesterol; 306 mg. sodium. 

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