At 5:30 in the evening, I’m often sitting in the bleachers watching baseball practice instead of making dinner. During warmups, while some parents discuss a missed relay, I find myself dreaming up ideas for quick pasta sauces. My objective on these busy nights is to make a sauce in the time it takes to boil water and cook a package of pasta.
Last weekend, I steamed a head of cauliflower to accompany a roast chicken dinner. After steaming, I set aside about five large florets for leftovers and served the rest with a quick topping of toasted bread crumbs. I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter in a small skillet, stirred in about 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs and toasted until browned.
Before I left for the field, I had scanned the pantry shelves and found anchovies, currants and pine nuts. Who knows, maybe I was dreaming about a Mediterranean beach on a dark winter’s night, but this was the quick sauce I put together while the pasta cooked.
Morgan is author of “Cooking for the Week: Leisurely Weekend Cooking for Easy Weekday Meals.”