Clever recipes for those who have ‘no time’ for dinner

Tahini-Herb Pasta Salad in colorful bowls
Clever and quick dinner ideas, like Tahini-Herb Pasta Salad, fill recipe developer Ali Slagle’s new cookbook.
(Mark Weinberg)

Dinnertime is a tricky concept. It’s filled with anticipation, hope and, hopefully, delicious food for many people. But at the same time, there’s the dread about the time it takes, the dish not tasting good and, well, all those dishes you’ll have to do afterward. Thankfully, Ali Slagle — author of the new cookbook “I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have to)” — is a whiz at producing simple recipes that actually don’t take a lot of time or effort but pay off big in flavor and make-ability for cooks of all skill levels.

Book jacket for the cookbook "I Dream of Dinner," by Ali Slagle.
(Mark Weinberg)

Using a steady but not terribly large arsenal of pantry staples is the key. In one dish, she transforms tahini, Dijon mustard and chickpeas into a creamy pasta dish that’s packed with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon; simple, satisfying and, thanks to the tahini, vegan. In another recipe, she calls for rendering the skin from chicken thighs, any home cook’s best friend, in a skillet where she then sautés both frozen green peas and fresh sugar snap peas in the chicken fat. The whole dish is perked up by lightly pickled chiles and crumbled cheese, two things you can prep while the chicken cooks.

It’s this attention to maximizing cooking times and eking flavor out of every single ingredient — no matter how basic it may seem — that makes all the recipes in her book easy to make without so much as a trip to the grocery store.


Get the recipes:

Tahini-Herb Pasta Salad

Time30 minutes
YieldsServes 4